All - this is an email I recieved from Carrie that she recently sent to friends and family. I found it incredibly rewarding to read. Take a look.
Hi Support Team!
Well many of you have been asking what I've been up to these last few months and "where have you been?!" so I wanted to send out an update. I have sailed over some personal hurdles/goals of mine in the last few weeks and am more proud of myself than I have ever been in my life, and that is such a cool feeling.
I AM NOT AN ATHLETE.
I have been telling myself that for the last 27 years. I have always been a singer. I do music, not sports. I go to the gym and run a little 5K here or there just to stay in shape, and I wakeboard and snowboard, but only because it's fun, and because it's a social thing. I have never pushed myself at snowboarding or any other sport to be better; I just do it well enough that I can get down the mountain without looking like a total idiot and I don't really desire to become "awesome". I have never participated in team sports. I think I was on my middle school volleyball team for a year and I played on a roller hockey league for a few months my freshman year of high school. But I've never consistently committed to a sport and been on a team with teammates who encourage me to push myself, or had a coach yelling at me to work harder, push harder, achieve more.
So here I am at 27, working at the Active Network with all of these IronMan triathletes, endurance runners, cyclists, adventure racers, and I find myself training for my first triathlon. Talk about a corporate culture wearing off on its employees! I'm training with about 80 of my colleagues for the XTerra Wetsuits Solana Beach Triathlon, including the majority of my team. We do these intense boot camp-type workouts every MWF on the roof of the parking garage at work; it's very "Fight Club"-esque. Lots of grunting and sweating. These workouts are hard, and I think the only reason I get through them is the peer pressure - positive peer pressure - of 50 other people grunting and sweating and pushing themselves together. I find myself crab crawling face-first down a staircase, and hear one of my coleagues shout out "Way to go, Carrie!" "Keep it up!"
We have started these weekend brick workouts that include two of the triathlon events - we'll do a bike/run or a bike/swim. I find myself dolphin diving into ocean waves and swimming out farther than I ever thought I could, completing an 800m ocean swim with the San Diego Tri Club, only my second time in the open water. One of my colleagues, Arch, who runs our bootcamp workouts, swims back to the back of the pack, where I'm at, to make sure I'm doing okay and encourage me the rest of the way into the beach. I was the slowest one in the pack, but through proud tears in the car on the way home I thought, "heck, I'm the slowest person who just swam 800 meters in the open ocean with a bunch of seasoned triathletes!! Not bad!
Last Saturday we did a brick workout on Coronado Island. We did a 15 mile bike ride right into a 3 mile run. I humbled myself and jumped into a pair of spandex biking shorts and hit the road. The 7.5 miles out was not bad, but the second half was like biking into a fierce wind tunnel. Exhausting. Only to get off the bike and run 3 miles with rubbery legs! One of my friends and I were the last two finishers in the pack last Saturday but I thought "Hey, I was one of the slowest people who just biked 15 miles and ran 3!! Not bad!"
So I find myself transforming into an athlete. Thanks to my best friend Alanna and some loving encouragement from her direction, I have been pushing myself athletically more than I ever have in my life. I do the ActiveX boot camp workouts at lunchtime and then come home and run 3 miles on the bay and do stairs. Double workouts have become the norm and I like it. My co-workers and I walk around every day complaining (but really bragging) about how sore our legs are, or how blistered our hands are from doing handstands on the roof of the parking garage the day before. My triple tan lines from sports bras, workout tops and my ugly one piece Speedo swimsuit have become badges of honor. I now feel like I am part of a team, for the first time in my life. My Active triathlon training team, with Arch as our coach, encouraging and pushing us along the way. "Hands off your hips on those squats, James, unless you wanna be a cheater!". I am achieving things athletically that I never thou
ght I could do, and I am so, so proud of myself. The athletic focus I have has transfered over into other aspects of my life; I am finally recording that demo CD I've talked about doing for six months; I'm more focused and driven at work than I have ever been, and I am even more focused about how I spend my free time.
I don't think my colleagues even know how big of a deal this will be for me to finish this triathlon, for the first time in my life, as an athlete. I am sure there will be tears, but that's okay. I will be wet from the ocean anyway so hopefully no one will notice. HA
Thanks again for all of your support - your generous donations to the Monarch School, your prayers, and your words of encouragement as I attempt my first triathlon!
If you feel led to donate to the Monarch School, that's awesome! Click on the link below and it's a pretty simple process from there.