It's amazing how fast things can change. One minute I was celebrating a success at work with co-workers and the next I was dashing out the door to a hospital to be with a friend who's husband was seriously ill. An infection had spread and caused significant damage to his heart requiring major surgery to repair it. I won't get into the details, as I rarely do on personal matters, but suffice it to say that some moments in life put things into sharp perspective. I spent a great deal of time in 2009 re-connecting with friends and starting new friendships. I felt I had grossly neglected this aspect of my life and wanted to change it. This friend has always been incredibly important to me, but I let geography and life throw numerous roadblocks in our path and I regret that. I was reminded over the past 24 hours just how precious life, and the people you love, are. I spent the better part of this time at the hospital doing whatever I could and there is nowhere else I would have wanted to be. The day ended positively but there is a long way to go.
This sheds light on something weighing heavily on my mind. In 2009 I was able to sharply focus on the Ironman and my personal goals, prioritizing it above all else. But since the race things have changed. I'm dating someone I enjoy spending time with and don't want to sacrifice that time for training. I have friends I'm not willing to alienate for the sake of another swim or trainer session. I'm busier at work and my focus is needed. Training for an Ironman is the hardest part of doing an Ironman and balancing it with a life is a nonstop challenge. I had plenty of challenges in 2009 but 2010 will be monumentally more difficult. And I'm training for two races this time. It seems daunting, but I feel pretty calm about it. Every day I continue to grow as an athlete and a person and I feel I can do it. I'm hoping it will be an even more rewarding experience as a result.