Monday, September 27, 2010

Family- the hardest part of leaving

This weekend a few things began to hit me as I am approaching my departure date for Perth, Australia on November 2nd. One, I really need to round into better shape before hitting this new continent because some of the locals are waiting to race me already and have sent me several messages about bringing my "A" game. Two, organizing everything that strips most of the stability that I have worked so hard to achieve has been very unnerving & difficult. Three, I will really miss my family and many of my close friends whom I surround my self with on a daily basis.

Out of these 3 things the one that really affects me the most is #3 on the list. My family has always been VERY important to me, thus the reasoning behind sticking around the general Charlotte area my entire life. After 12 years of being an only child my mother decided to bring in a beautiful little girl as an addition to the family, as time passed I would be blessed with 3 much younger brothers also. Being the Big Brother to these amazing kids has been a duty that I have tried to fulfill in every way possible which has limited my opportunities in other regions that I had thought to once pursue. Conquering the hardest part of my new journey was allowing myself to "let go" of some of these obligations that I have set upon myself.

Just thinking about having a Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Years, my own B-day, Easter, and July 4th without my family sounds wrong just typing it right now. Not only will I miss my incredible family but I miss my family of friends who is my support system and my saving grace at times. Yes I will be gone merely one year BUT who knows what holds in store beyond. If things pan out, I may travel to another country for a stint. Opening my eyes to new horizons and trying to understand my potential in life has been an incredible journey. My hope is that when I travel abroad, I will join up with some amazing people who will open my eyes even more to what my true calling in life is meant to be.

I just want to send a HUGE Thank you to all of my family members who have been a crucial part of my life and have helped mold me into the person I am today. To so many of my incredible friends, thank you for all of the laughs so hard that it hurt my stomach and for the many days I needed you to pick my up from being in a bad mood. I will miss so many people that have touched my life, thank you for supporting me through this crazy, incredible, absurd, stupendous decision that I have made.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Blue Ridge Relay Recap:::::

6 months ago I decided that my total focus would be on the Triathlon National Championships in Alabama on September 26th, thus making it difficult to race the relay the week prior. Unfortunately I backed out of my said team obligations with "Team Awesome", whom ended up doing amazing this year as the #2 mixed team to finish overall. As most of you know, I ended up competing in the relay but with a different yet awesome team from the Compass group who asked me last minute to join in the fun.

My triathlon career was fairly short lived with nationals and etc after life got very chaotic for a couples of months in which my training completely disappeared. Life/God has a funny way of changing things that you have set in stone for the future. I am not sure why things have happened the way they have at this point, but looking back to last weekend its clear. I would have never met some of these amazing people whom where on my relay team. Everyone had their own interesting story and personality but everyone was very open to chatting with me about who I was and where I come from, the usual.

After leaving Charlotte, crammed into a van, then waiting around in mooresville for the other van, we finally reached West Jefferson around 8pm. Our van headed right to the meeting spot for dinner and chowed down! It was awesome that Compass actually covered dinner because we had a great meal and most of us had a couple beers to loosen up the conversation a bit. Waking up in the am, Gene, my roommate and I went straight to the coffee bar and had some muffins. We greeted some other teams downstairs and prepped for the journey. Upon arriving to the start line, every time I turned my head I saw someone I knew, it was magnificent seeing so many local runners joining in for this amazing adventure of which was my 4th time.

"Bear in Mind" started at 9:30am with team members, Judy, Joan, Lee, Gene, myself and Cheryl we set off downhill, literally. We each blazed our 1st legs faster than our time sheets had us predicted and handed off with a nice 25 minute cushion of time. Upon looking back over my garmin, I did exactly what I instructed everyone else not to do and that was to run real hard on the 1st leg. My 1st mile which was basically a gradual downhill I was swinging for the fences lets just say. As the relay winded along, we managed to get a few wash-ups, even a shower, some good grub and had plenty of gatorade and snacks thanks to the Compass group and Food Lion as our sponsors.

All in all the legs were very difficult, at points I wished I had run faster but what can you do, its the mountains! My team did an amazing job, I was so proud of everyone. This was the 1st time in the BRR competition that no one on my van had conflict! Yes I blew up the last time I raced but it was because I literally was lying everything on the line when I ran, to be followed by no rest and to eventually losing our lead. Live and learn people! All in all I think everyone was pleased, we finished 11th overall and 5th in the co-ed division. if it wasn't for 2 co-ed teams based from charlotte whom both broke the co-ed record, we would have been top 3 easy. After our legs were complete we managed to shower it up at the YMCA and even grab a couple cases of beer to sip on while we waited for van #2 to come through.

Thank you to CRC for letting me tag along with my yoga mat and bookbag while at Mellow Mushroom! We had an interesting brief drive back with Billy Shue who somehow missed the exit to I-40 3 times before Anne Falcon basically jumped from the back row to manhandle Billy, well verbally anyways. The ride back was just as fun as the journey in itself despite half of the van passed out. After sleeping forever on sunday, I came to realize that my calf pains were a bit more than I was used to, in fact it was in my Achilles tendon. After having Dr. Clay from Greenapple Sports & Wellness work on my legs he advised me to take 36hrs off with lots of heat, ice, and using the stick. My 1st run back tonight, actually went pretty well, I needed to vent some stress away, so my bounce felt like it was back. The 1st couple of miles felt amazing, but the last couple didn't feel quite as good, but I am coming around.

Thanks so much to the Compass Group for letting me be apart of your squad, Cheryl Todd for inviting me to watch you "girl" several guys on the course, Gene for being an awesome roommate, Kevin for communicating with me about logistics(and retrieving my car), and everyone else I encountered along the way.

Off the top of my head, I saw these people during the relay;

Mike Beigay, Ben Hovis, Danielle Crockford, Billy Shue, Allen strickland, mo campbell, stephen hudzik, colleen angstadt, chris cummins, scott woodbury, kevin lisska, borianna balkcheta?, brian mcmahon, john compton, paul mainwaring, kirk ward, emily hansen, todd patterson, shenna kevorkian, sarah neumann, jocelyn sikora, alice rogers, dusti jensen, caleb boyd, karin helmbrecht, melissa bell and joey church.

I am sure I missed some people but hey, thats a big list!!!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Here I come!

This is a very brief but straight to the point entry which has been in the works for WAY TOOO long. As of 4 days ago I have officially purchased my plane ticket to Perth, Australia!!!

Check out my short trip across the world:

- Charlotte to LA (5.5hr flight then an 11+hr layover!)

- LA to Auckland, NZ (13 hr flight! 8 hr layover)

- Auckland, NZ to Perth, AU (7hr 46 min flight)

I don't even want to think about this trip and being totally alone for almost 3 days traveling around the world. Books will only take me so far, does anyone have any recommendations for this journey??? The running better be AMAZING there!