You know those people with the 140.6 or 26.2 stickers on their cars? Maybe some of us are those people because we're proud of the distances we work so tirelessly to complete. But I find myself in a unique position this season, covering a new distance. As it turns out, 2012 will be the year of 0.0.
Racing long course this year was always a lofty goal at best. I tried to suppress the idea that I'd be in London working 24/7 at the Olympics for three weeks prior to my Ironman race day. Then a series of unfortunate events in my personal life left me buried with obligations and the one thing I do because I truly love it had become a source of guilt. This sport is overwhelming and if you're not careful you can burn out so badly that there is no coming back. I was fried at the end of the 2011 season after completing four Ironmans in 24 months. I thought I was good after an extended break but when life threw me a curveball, I realized I wasn't as good as I thought.
A decision had to be made and I decided to take this season off. I need to focus on the changes in my life, my work at the Olympics, and rediscovering the passion that drives me to do this. I love this sport. I love the people I've met, the challenges I have overcome, the feeling that I can literally do anything. But in order to keep loving it, I have to love how it fits into my life and it seems 2012 is not an ideal fit.
So I won't be toeing the line at Ironman Mont Tremblant on August 19 and I'm definitely sad about this. But I'm also looking forward to having a different focus this year, and hopefully coming back next year better than ever. I'm looking forward to new adventures and challenges. As Helen Keller said, "Life is either a daring adventure or nothing." And nothing is never going to be good enough for me.