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From the daily archives: Saturday, June 14, 2014

Finishing Strong

As I reflect back on our 6 hour race, I can’t help but smile. Not only was it a great race, but it was also a time to take away lots of unexpected life lessons. I am so thankful for the opportunity to race with such amazing athletes. They showed me the power of teamwork, strength, dedication and true selflessness. We started the race on foot for the prologue. Going into the race I knew I was not as strong as my teammates. I committed to trying hard, being positive and not complaining. After we ran the prologue, I realized I had too many layers on and quickly shed the extra layers before we headed out for the O-section. Todd was navigating the O-section. His navigation was impressive! I was fully confident that wherever we were going, we were going exactly to each point and sure enough each time the point was there. I was also amazed at what blind faith I immediately had for him leading us. I reflect back on life and there are not many times where you have this type of blind faith. I tend to want to be part of figuring out what is best, how we should solve problems etc. It was so nice to let go and really have 100% confidence in my teammate. The O-section was a lot of fun. I couldn’t believe how muddy and wet it was out there. At first I didn’t want to get my feet too wet (even though that was virtually impossible!). I remembered running in the snow and how good it felt on my ankles to get wet. air max 90 pas cher SO, I decided instead of worrying about getting my feet wet, I would view it as a mini-foot spa. nike pas cher This was great because when we had to cross streams, I would just walk through them and it actually felt so nice on my tired feet and ankles. I’m not kidding! I liked it-thank you Andy and Michelle. As we were doing the foot section, I was behind my teammates. nike air max pas cher On many occasions I was thinking, “Wow, they are all crazy!” BUT in a good way. See, I knew what it was like to race with my husband but I didn’t know what it would be like to race with other people. I was in complete awe of my teammates’ abilities. They were so strong. New Balance Pas Cher Not once did they complain or consider giving up. I really loved this. I kept thinking, wow, they have superhero abilities. After getting all of the O-points, we transitioned to the bike. I was so happy to finally get on my mountain bike! Well, so happy until we hit the muddy, slippery trails. I was surprised at how hard it was to ride on those trails. Cheap Fjallraven Kanken Classic It really bogged your bike down. Later in the bike section, Brian, “The machine” towed me. It was funny because I was holding on to my bike with one hand and the tow rope with the other. Normally, I would think this was pretty crazy but I didn’t care at all. I wanted to get through the trails one way or another. I think this also helped me improve my biking because I was noticing the lines he was taking and I was following them. He is an absolutely incredible mountain biker. I felt bad for him towing me up all of those hills. I am so sorry Brian! I have no idea how you did that. kobe 11 pas cher Brian truly was amazing (and let it be known that no one got injured). His selflessness in suggesting Todd keep navigating was great stuff and the best part was it kept him, by far our most powerful and skilled biker, free to tow and worry about others. He also didn’t panic when Todd got a tad cranky in the last part of the race.

Amazing Rolls on

Todd and Antoinette were awesome. goedkoop nikes They were so strong on foot and Todd was on fire with his navigating. At one point in the race I decided Antoinette was my new hero. I had never seen a woman so strong on her feet. I asked her, “How are you so strong?” She replied that she loves to work out and was in the Olympics. What?! The Olympics?! I almost passed out right then and there. Ha! This race was a very humbling experience for me. It made me see my teammates in a whole new light. I had no idea the depth and capacity they had. Don’t get me wrong, I knew they were great people, I just didn’t know how deeply they would persevere. That is my favorite quality in people. The ability to move forward despite difficult circumstances (this was not an easy course!) – they showed me that in spades. We were giving it our all (and then some) to arrive on time. It is amazing what strength you can draw from the energy of your team. There is no way I could have climbed those muddy hills without Brian. Nike LeBron James 13 WOW!!!! Unfortunately, we arrived 8 minutes late to the finish line, so we had a 2 point penalty. We got all of the checkpoints and three of the windows. I think Todd made a great decision on getting these three windows. This decision would have put us in third if we got there before 4pm. Darn you 8 minutes! Todd learned a huge lesson about navigating/leading a full team. This was his first race navigating for a full coed-elite team and he is proud to say, it may have been his best day ever from a pure orienteering standpoint. But that’s just the micro and his real lesson for navigators is you have to also keep in mind the macro. You can nail all the individual points you want, but the eight minutes late is all on the big-picture decision to not give us the cushion needed to be safe. (But he sincerely appreciates Antoinette comparing our decision to bag a third “window” and chance our timing to Todd’s deep-seated belief that football coaches should go for it on 4th down more often! Just because it doesn’t work doesn’t necessarily mean it was the wrong decision). Asics Pas Cher Also, he gained a huge new level of respect for all his past navigators (Victor, Jeremy, Bryce, Aaron, Lukas) for how they handled transitions. Huge adjustment going from a guy who changes his own shoes, grabs a snack, and cheerleads for others while generally feeling happy mentally from completing a section to nervously fiddling with maps and trying to mentally change gears for the next section. Adidas ZX Flux Heren My takeaways from this race were:
  • Keep putting one foot in front of the other-no matter what
  • Trust and lean on each other
  • Get in better shape so your teammates don’t have to tow you!
  • Don’t beat yourself up if you have to be towed
  • Eat more during the race
  • Enjoy the beauty of nature and the power of working as a team
  • Appreciate the opportunity to experience life in ways that you love
  • Celebrate the amazing people you get to share your experiences with
  • AND most importantly, don’t give up!

I too found a whole new appreciation for my “crazy” teammates and I realized that I was racing alongside them so I must be crazy too! I’m so happy to be part of this incredible sport. I will treasure this experience.