“You can’t do passion halfway. Living your passion means you’re all in. You trust your heart and trust your gut wherever it takes you.” ~Joe Plumeri
My heart speaks swim/bike/run! It brings me calm, it brings me joy, it builds self confidence, it often teaches me something new, it breeds discipline, it connects me with others, it forces me to be more courageous, it allows me the freedom to mess up & still end up ok, it provides me an outlet, it makes me stronger (physically, mentally & emotionally), it fills me with gratitude, it helps me become a better version of myself, and SO much more!
I believe the purpose of my life is to be fearlessly authentic and passionate, to empower others, and inspire others to LIVE + PLAY BIG so they can be their best self and chase their dreams with their whole heart. When I live my purpose and live my passion, I have more heart, energy, and enthusiasm for what I am doing and those around me. I feel ALIVE! I’m so grateful for this life!
Part of living my passion is to live with a FULL heart, and LOADS of PURE JOY + GRATITUDE! The joy doesn’t come from crossing the finish line…although it does feel good to finally put the breaks on at the end of the really long day of IRONMAN racing. The pure joy + full heart comes from the reflection on how I got there. The journey. All the chlorine therapy. Each pedal stroke. Every step. The strength developed. The challenging workouts and the easy ones. The hard work. The recovery/nutrition/training balance. The obstacles I overcame. Staring at the same walls. Whatever Mother Nature threw my way. The self doubt. The mental strength I created. The gratitude I discovered in the good times and the bad times. The determination. The early mornings. The risks. The long hours on the bike. The persistence. The Basil miles. The balancing of life + training. The sacrifices. The daily grind. The resilience in getting back up when I got knocked down. The lows that I survived and the highs that I reveled in. The failures I learned from. The courage to be me and share with others. The freedom to do it my way. The success I accomplished. The entire journey; not simply the destination.
I am going to continue to follow my heart and live my passion in 2020 as it leads me on a new + exciting IRONMAN journey!
If you’ve been following my journey, you’ll know that I have made the decision to “choose me” and live my truth. By choosing me, I am actually choosing US, and I’m so grateful to have the Iron Hippie on this roller coaster ride with me. Here is a quick update on where I’m at.
TRUTH: I REALLY DO LOVE to swim/bike/run! My heart speaks swim/bike/run! It brings me calm. It brings me joy. It builds self confidence. It often teaches me something new. It breeds discipline. It connects me with others. It forces me to be more courageous. It allows me the freedom to mess up & still end up ok. It provides me an outlet. It makes me stronger – physically & mentally. It fills me with gratitude. It helps me be the best version of myself. I can’t imagine my life without swim/bike/run! Here are some of my truths:
I am a social introvert. Generally, I like to socialize with others while I workout. Socializing while working out fills me up and brings me joy because I get to connect with such great people in amazing communities. Don’t get me wrong, there are times a good solo workout is exactly what I need and crave…hence the introvert. The introvert is more present in the day to day activities when I hunker down at home, recover, gear up for the coming day/week, and jumpstart my batteries.
I love playing and feeling like a fish gliding through the water! Splashing around, making mud pies, dunking a friend, doing hand stands and somersaults in the water…hello childhood! ❤
I love the open roads, the wind in my face, the sun on my back, and the freedom I feel when I am on two wheels…I love it even more when I GET to ride with others!! The occasional red wing black bird that dive bombs my helmet also brings me joy…it is good interval training. 😉
I love running, but I love it even more with friends! Bonus = running with Basil! She knows how to have fun and bring a smile to my face! It’s hard not to smile when I watch her run. 🙂
I love being on the water!! It takes me back to my childhood. I love to SUP, canoe, kayak, water ski, tube, boat, anything that involves being on the water. The water is in my blood! 🙂
I love yoga! I love the community, the mindfulness, the focus, and the feeling of accomplishment + calm after a yoga session.
I love to be outside during all seasons! I love the fresh air, the calming sounds of nature, the various temperatures and humidity levels, the calm, the quiet, and the peace that comes with outdoor adventures.
Boxes aren’t for everyone. I’ve decided to step out of the box I’ve been in and experiment with self coaching in 2020. I’m excited to try new things knowing that some of these things may not work for me, while other things may be the best thing ever for me! Bring on the thinking outside of the box, the experimentation, the trial and error, the freedom and control to do it my way, and the excitement with trying something new!
I dream of one day…believing in myself so deeply that I open locked doors without the keys and inspire others to do the same on whatever journey they are on!!
Are you living your truth?! Are you being true to what YOU TRULY feel, what YOU really WANT to do, who YOU REALLY are, and what YOU DEFINITELY dream for yourself?! Are you choosing YOU?!
The other day while I was swimming, I noticed I was surround by “boxes.” There were “boxes” on the pool floor, the walls of the facility were made of blocks, the windows were “boxes,” the tiles on floor of the facility, and I realized that the pool itself is in fact a box. It triggered the thought about the boxes we put ourselves in. The confinement of these boxes. The creativity these boxes stifle. The repetition that these boxes often reinforce.
Are you in a box? Do you like the box you’re in? Who put you in this box? Do you want to stay in this box? Do you feel stuck in this box? What if the box has a hole in it? What if the box doesn’t fit? What if the box gets turned upside down? What if the box becomes a new color? What if the box becomes a different shape? What if we actually need 100 boxes? Or 1000 boxes? What if there was no box?
“INSANITY: Doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.” ~Albert Einstein
Problems can’t be solved and changes can’t be made if you’re too tied to what has been done in the past or to what you think other people expect you to do. Past experiences can teach us a lot! It is good to reflect on these experiences. Self reflection can be tough. It requires us to FACE our flaws, OWN them, and put in WORK to change them. It isn’t always fun, but when you put in the work and ditch the box you’re stuck in is freeing and opens the doors to so many new possibilities.
What other ways are there to solve the problem? Sure…some of these ways may seem REALLY far fetched in the moment, but what if these far fetched ways work just was well? What if they work even better than what you have been doing? If you’re afraid to step too far away from what’s been done, you may never truly know the masterpiece you can create and the freedom you could feel.
Take a leap! Step completely outside of what is expected. Step outside of the box you’ve been in. Flip the box upside down. Poke a hole in the box to let new light in. Get a bigger box with more compartments and room for growth. Paint your box a new, bold color. Rework the box so it is a new shape. Spread yourself out amongst many boxes. Or remove all of the boxes completely and experience freedom as you create your masterpiece. Now is the time to do something different. Now is the time to create change. Now is the time to create your masterpiece!
“I hate the thought of her being forced into a box that doesn’t fit her. Of having her wings cut off, her sight blinded, her hearing muted, her voice stilled.” ~Charles de Lint
November was full of fun, gratitude, and heart! I spent time really listening to my heart and letting it guide me in my training, life experiences, and planning for 2020! Here is a snippet of what November looked like for me:
This month I decided to do whatever I wanted, when I wanted. No structured training. No 4 am wake ups until I was ready. No routines. It was awesomely awful! I swam when I wanted. I biked when I wanted. I ran when I wanted. I did intervals when I wanted. I incorporated more strength training. I spent more time with my mat. I went back to 10 minutes of core strength daily because it is a better fit for my schedule. I’ve decided I definitely thrive off of routines and consistency. While this freedom in training was much needed to reset my body and mind, it is time for me to regain the routines and consistency that I enjoy as I get ready to head into 2020.
Swim: 18,900 yards (10.74 miles)
Bike: 75.4 miles
Run: 57.0 miles
Strength: 10 minutes of core daily + more strength training + yoga ❤
Meditation: 3 minutes daily since January 1
Monthly Totals: 35 hours & 20 minutes
Explore is my focus word in 2019 and I’m happy to be incorporating it into all areas of my life…including racing the Hillbilly Hike 1/2 Marathon. When I went into this race, I wasn’t sure if I was going to run with my friend, Robin, or try to push myself and see what I could do. I decided to let my legs tell me. They told me to go after it despite the frost + ice covered running surfaces. I’m glad I pushed myself, am happy with my results, and am looking for more opportunities to #explore + break out of my comfort zone + push myself to new limits in 2020!
80/20 Triathlon: Discover the Breakthrough Elite-Training Formula for Ultimate Fitness and Performance at All Levels by Matt Fitzgerald and David Warden is for triathletes of all levels helping them balance training intensity to maximize performance. “Cutting-edge research has proven that triathletes and other endurance athletes experience their greatest performance when they do 80 percent of their training at low intensity and the remaining 20 percent at moderate to high intensity. But the vast majority of recreational triathletes are caught in the so-called “moderate-intensity rut,” spending almost half of their time training too hard–harder than the pros. Training harder isn’t smarter; it actually results in low-grade chronic fatigue that prevents recreational athletes from getting the best results. In 80/20 Triathlon, Matt Fitzgerald and David Warden lay out the real-world and scientific evidence, offering concrete tips and strategies, along with complete training plans for every distance–Sprint, Olympic, Half-Ironman, and Ironman–to help athletes implement the 80/20 rule of intensity balance. Benefits include reduced fatigue and injury risk, improved fitness, increased motivation, and better race results.”
The 5 Second Rule: Transform Your Life, Work, and Confidence with Everyday Courage by Mel Robbins provides you with tools to create action and change. “Throughout your life, you’ve had parents, coaches, teachers, friends, and mentors who have pushed you to be better than your excuses and bigger than your fears. What if the secret to having the confidence and courage to enrich your life and work is simply knowing how to push yourself? Using the science of habits, riveting stories, and surprising facts from some of the most famous moments in history, art, and business, Mel Robbins will explain the power of a “push moment”. Then, she’ll give you one simple tool you can use to become your greatest self. It takes just five seconds to use this tool, and every time you do you’ll be in great company. More than eight million people have watched Mel’s TEDx Talk, and executives inside of the world’s largest brands are using the tool to increase productivity, collaboration, and engagement. In The 5 Second Rule, you’ll discover it takes just five seconds to:
Break the habit of procrastination and self-doubt
Beat fear and uncertainty
Stop worrying and feel happier
Share your ideas with courage
The 5 Second Rule is a simple, one-size-fits-all solution for the one problem we all face – we hold ourselves back. The secret isn’t knowing what to do – it’s knowing how to make yourself do it.”
Two Concepts to Guide Your Off-season Training by Matt Edwards is full of some great information for things you can do in the off-season to better prepare yourself for the coming season. During your off-season, take time to focus on technique, strength training, your weakness, and endurance.
6 Ways to Avoid “Bad Race Blues” by Mackenzie Madison has some great tips for getting back on track after a “bad” race and “avoid feeling mentally stuck in a previous disappointment.”
How to Master Your Athletes’ Motivation by Jamie Blanchfield is very insightful on what influences motivation and what enhances motivation. Motivation ebbs and flows with changes in life, training, work, etc. Self efficacy is key to motivation and success.
“She silently stepped out of the race she never wanted to be in, found her own lane, and proceeded to win.” ~Unknown
Picture this…you are driving down the road and the flow of traffic slows in front of you. You see a clear lane with traffic moving faster in the lane next to you, so you jump in the “fast lane” and cruise on down the road. Until the flow of traffic changes and now you’re stuck in traffic. That car that you passed a while back is now passing you in the “slow lane” that you were once in. We’ve all been there. And if you’re like me, you get frustrated, impatient, and annoyed. I want something I can’t have…a clear, open, fast road.
This happens in life as well. We see what others are doing in their lane and want what they have (or what we think they have). We feel stuck in our lane, so we change lanes thinking things look better in their lane, so they will be better. We think their lane will be more clear and will allow us to move faster so we can get to our destination sooner. The problem is, we don’t have all of the details. We don’t know why they are really in their lane. We don’t have the insight from their past to know why they picked this lane and we can’t see what is up ahead. After spending some time in their lane, we eventually realize that this lane really isn’t the best lane for us and is not where we want to be after all.
We all know that we shouldn’t drive our car with blinders on and swerve in and out of traffic while speeding down the road. Driving erratically can cause accidents. Likewise, we shouldn’t experience life with blinders on or swerve in and out of “traffic” while speeding through life. Sure, it is good to look around, see what others are doing, experience new things, but it is even more important to stay true to yourself, stay in your own lane, slow down, and remember why you were there in the first place. This is your journey!
For the majority of 2019 I’ve been “driving” all over the road. One minute I find myself in my lane, and the next I’m in someone else’s lane. I’ve been swerving back and forth. This erratic “driving” has got to stop! There is a far greater risk associated with erratic driving. It isn’t safe! It does not make me happy! It does not allow me to be true to myself! It stresses me out! It fuels my anxiety and depression! Being in someone else’s lane has reminded me that I’m happiest and safest in my own lane. So it’s time to take control of the steering wheel and get back in my own lane. This is where I belong. This is where I will remain true to myself. This is where I will be happiest. This is where I intend to stay. Will I get distracted by the “fast lane” that others are in from time to time?! Probably. I’m human. But I’m going to do my best to stay in my own lane, slow down, and remember why I chose to be there in the first place. This is my journey! I will get to my destination exactly when I am supposed to if I stay in my own lane.
October was a roller coaster ride. It was full of some really high highs, and some pretty low lows. I’m happy to be moving into November, figuring out what “normal” is for us, planning for 2020, and preparing for winter.
This month I took part in the Coretober Challenge that Multisport Mastery + JHC Coaching put together. It was a good challenge for me. I have been doing 10 minutes of core strength daily for nearly 2 years (with the few exceptions around race days or when I have been sick), so the extra 5 minutes was a definite challenge for the first week or two, but I’m so glad I took part in this challenge!
Swim: 13,850 yards (7.87 miles)
Bike: 90.7 miles
Run: 78.3 miles
Strength: 15 minutes of core daily + some yoga ❤
Meditation: 3 minutes daily since January 1
Monthly Totals: 31 hours & 52 minutes
Explore is my focus word in 2019 and I’m happy to be incorporating it into all areas of my life…including being at my first IRONMAN race that I wasn’t racing or volunteering (aka working) on race day. This was WAY out of my comfort zone!! I struggled going to this event knowing that I wasn’t racing (when I originally was suppose to be toeing the start line). I wanted to race SO badly, but also knew that this race had to be different for me. I had to use this race to explore. Explore being involved in IRONMAN without racing. Explore being involved in IRONMAN without volunteering and “working” on race day. Explore what is deep in my heart. Explore living my truth. So many memories were made, perspective was gained, and laughter in Lou filled my heart. I’ll have more on what I learned down the road.
I am finding that I love to listen to podcasts while I set up and tear down labs at work, so if you have any suggestions, please send them my way! Here is what I listened to this month:
Kelsey Abbott brought CrisMarie Campbell and Susan Clarke onto the Find Your Awesome Podcast. Susan said something that really hit home with me, “Speaking up is more important than shutting up and dying.”
Rich Roll brought on Amelia Boone. She is the most decorated and dominate female in obstacle course racing. She struggles with childhood trauma and an eating disorder. “I don’t want to be ‘the eating disorder recovery girl’, I don’t want to be ‘the athlete’. This is just me. I am super flawed, I’m super complex, just like everybody else out there.”
“Where the Crawdads Sing” by Delia Owens is captivating. It was the perfect book to take me away into another world. “For years, rumors of the “Marsh Girl” have haunted Barkley Cove, a quiet town on the North Carolina coast. So in late 1969, when handsome Chase Andrews is found dead, the locals immediately suspect Kya Clark, the so-called Marsh Girl. But Kya is not what they say. Sensitive and intelligent, she has survived for years alone in the marsh that she calls home, finding friends in the gulls and lessons in the sand. Then the time comes when she yearns to be touched and loved. When two young men from town become intrigued by her wild beauty, Kya opens herself to a new life – until the unthinkable happens.”
“Snap, Crackle, Pop: My Road to IRONMAN Kona 2019” by Barbara Perkins was highlighted by USA Triathlon this month. Barbara is one of my Coeur Sports teammates who qualified for the IRONMAN World Championships at IRONMAN Santa Rosa in May. She has overcome some obstacles to get to the start of the IRONMAN World Championships, but as Barb says, “Each of us deals with our own set of circumstances, injury, bike mishaps and more. You have to trust that you have done (mostly) everything in your power to get to that start line happy and healthy. Enjoy the day! Celebrate the moment! Because hey, this is actually happening.” This is a good reminder that I GET TO DO THIS SPORT! ❤
“Manage Your Personal Energy to Improve the Quality of Life” by Darius Foroux is a great reminder that when we do things that energize us (even if we don’t feel energized when doing it), we empower ourselves. We need to focus on the 20% of the activities that improve the quality of our lives and incorporate these activities into our lives at least 80% of the time. “What is one thing I can do today to improve my mood?”
“Triumph Over Heartbreak: My Kona 2019 Story” by Barbara Perkins was highlighted by USA Triathlon this month. As I mentioned above, Barbara is one of my Coeur Sports teammates who qualified for and competed in the IRONMAN World Championships. She is a fierce competitor and warrior. “You will find your true, innermost self out in the lava fields of the IRONMAN World Championship course. Some people will fall victim to the brutal conditions. They will give up, but others will conquer the course and everything inside them that doubted they could make it there. Most will come away with some itch left unscratched, drawn again to the island to discover its unique possibilities.”
Attitude of Gratitude:
How was your month of October?! What were you grateful for last month?!
Fear. We all have it. Fear can be limiting. It can be that negative inner voice in our head that has created a story telling us something might cause us harm. It can be a barrier. It can be defeating. When fear is negative, it steals your power from you and cripples you.
Fear can be empowering. Fear can keep us safe. Fear can be an open road. When fear is positive, it empowers you. It opens doors and allows you to achieve success. Fear can motivate us to do and be our best.
Fears people hold:
Fear of failure.
Fear of letting others down.
Fear of heights.
Fear of revisiting the past.
Fear of clowns.
Fear of moving too fast.
Fear of disappointment.
Fear of expectations.
Fear of spiders.
Fear of commitment.
Fear of snakes.
Fear of speaking up.
Fear of trying something new.
Fear of public speaking.
Fear of the unknown.
Fear of sharks.
Fear of monsters (hello Halloween).
Fear of ______________.
“Fear: False evidence appearing real” ~Unknown
How are your fears limiting you?! Fear of disappointment is limiting for me. When I am so afraid of disappointing someone (myself or others), I am letting that fear hold me back. I am giving that fear my power. When I don’t allow myself to be true to who I am, what my desires/passions are, how I want to live my life, I am allowing that fear of disappointment to cripple me. If your fear isn’t serving you, it is time to let it go. Write it down, then color over it until you can’t see the fear anymore. Burn it and send it up into the universe.
How are your fears empowering you?! Fear of failure can be empowering! When we are courageous enough to step past the fear and allow ourselves to fail, we learn and grow. When I allow myself to fail, I learn what I need to do better to achieve my goals and dreams. It helps me become the best version of myself. Keep seeking your limits and don’t be afraid of them. One day you’ll find your limits in that moment. You should view it as a success, not a failure. As you continue to learn and grow, these limits may shift allowing you to push even further the next time.
Step up and be courageous. Face your fears. Hold onto the fears that empower you. Let go of the fears that limit you.
“Courage doesn’t mean you don’t get afraid. Courage means you don’t let fear stop you.” ~Bethany Hamilton
What fears do you have that aren’t serving you?! What fears do you want to let go of?! What fears do you have that serve you?! What fears do you want to drive your life?!