7 Days until the race and a season behind me...

In reflecting on my season, I am proud.  I've had a tremendous amount of stressful experiences in my life this year...significant things that no one should have to face all at once sprinkled in with some injury setbacks and some crazy triathlete nonsense splashed on top making the struggles even harder...and I have come through it all, achieving everything I wanted to and learning so much along the way.  I was not derailed, no matter what.

The race itself will be about pushing limits but the journey to this point has been something incredible for me.  I was forced to learn some heartbreaking lessons, yet I know better now and I have discovered more about what I am capable of in the face of adversity.  I'm capable of a lot.

When my world turned upside down...several times... I was able to right things and carry on and come out the other side in a better place.

2012 has been a hard year but also a growing year and a year of self discovery.  I've learned who I can count on.... and learned what matters most.  I've learned that even in my weakest moments, I am a fighter who does not give up.  Even on my darkest days I was quietly growing stronger and while the anger is behind me, the memories are with me as fuel driving me to be even better.
I've learned a lot about anger, self preservation, strength, control, betrayal, trust and forgiveness.  I had to learn some very hard lessons about human nature.  I was a bit naive, for a 30-34 age group woman!
Looking back though... because of the adversity, I'm more empathetic, compassionate, grounded and I understand my strengths.

I often questioned why I was being forced into learning these lessons while trying to balance my life and train for an ironman, but it has become part of my IMWI experience and ultimately, I don't think I'd have it any other way.  I never let down.  These experiences have shaped me and made me into a better, stronger, smarter person with an unshakeable level of confidence!

I am grateful to those who pulled me up during my various struggles of 2012... family, true friends and other good people with warm, empathetic hearts and inspiring stories...of which there are many.

I am grateful for all of it as I head into Ironman Wisconsin.  It is all now a part of my journey and I embrace the good and the tough times equally as leading me to the start line ready to experience the RACE!  : )