Friday, April 24, 2015

Reality Check

Since my last "real" race in Auckland in 2012, life has been a blur.  I simply cannot believe three years has flown by since I last trained and raced competitively.  In that time, so much has turned my world upside down.  We lost our home that we had rented for 7 years and bought a short sale.  We had our first bundle of joy and just weeks later lost Neil's dad to cancer.  I was offered and accepted my dream job and within the year we underwent a corporate buyout which has turned my work world into a bipolar dream/nightmare scenario.

I try to live my life without the noose of expectations hanging around my neck.  Inevitably, the disparity between reality and your expectation of what reality is supposed to be is directly proportional to the amount of misery you are currently experiencing.

I therefore walked into motherhood blindly with open arms, an open heart and an open mind.  I walked into a new career always keeping my focus on the guiding star of helping people and bettering myself.  I walked into the dump of a short sale we bought hoping one day, it might feel like home.  I walked away from everything I had known all at once and I never could have imagined the impact it would have on me, or how difficult it would be.  In walking away from the world of triathlon, I distanced myself from a big part of my heart and many of my friends.  And yet, in the craziness of it all, it never seemed like a valid choice to come back to the sport.  It just wasn't time.

It's so cliche, but having a family changes everything.  The value of my time is know perceived entirely differently.  It's different for every mother and for every father, but for me, a 4 hour bike ride on a Saturday is time I don't get back with my babies.  A decision I make to spend time at work takes away from my marriage, my family and myself.   If I spend time on myself, I lose time with my kids, my husband and I get behind at work.  It's a losing math equation where sacrifice is always occurring.  I've begun to abhor the word "balance."  If I hear it come from one more person's mouth, I might just lose it in a fit of rage. Balance doesn't exist at this time of life where I've chosen to grow my family whilst developing my career and maintaining my marriage.  I do have faith that things won't always be this crazy.  I've begun to dream of a time, maybe when I'm 40-44, that racing more competitively will be a reality again.  I've even begun to think about a comeback in 2016 after our newest baby arrives this fall.  But what I have accepted is that I have to let go of the athlete I once was and find the person that I now am.  Every bit of me needs the physical outlet of running and triathlon, but I need to learn to accept what little time I have to train.  I need to be ok with setting a goal to finish and letting go of past PR's.  I need to be happy that today I ran, even if I can't say the same for yesterday or for tomorrow.

My heart is warmed every time I see the "super mom" stories. The athletes who have kids and come back faster.  Those who continue to pursue sport at the highest levels and seem to defy all the challenges that motherhood places in front of them.  But I also know that for the majority of athlete moms, it isn't that easy.  And it seems that no one is around to discuss that reality.  Maybe by finding some time to write again, I can find some other mom's fighting the battle as well.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

women of jacksonville bike calendar

I've been living on the periphery of triathlon for almost two years now since the birth of my son, but triathlon is always in my heart and on my mind.  The triathlon community is one of the greatest communities I've had the honor to be a part of.  I've made some incredible friends through hours of chasing dreams together and triathlon has been a constant through life's ups and downs.  Forging friendships built with hard work, mutual admiration and shared goals is a recipe for relationships which will forever change your being.
That's why I find myself particularly conflicted in learning of the "women cyclists of jacksonville" photo shoot and calendar.  It's entirely possible that this endeavor is more tasteful and positive than I'm envisioning it, but it just isn't sitting well with me and I'm trying to understand why.
My gut reaction to this project is that it seems to be yet another media project which will (unintentionally) demean and objectify women. We exist in a media driven world obsessed with perfection and a standard no woman or girl could possibly live up to.  There is a severe lack of real role models in popular culture for girls and young women who embody self confidence and strong leadership skills.  Too often, women are judged first and foremost on their physical attributes- not just in sport but in relationships, social settings and in their career paths.  When one participates in modeling our sport in a risque fashion, its a really disappointing reaffirmation of this reality for women.  While posing in little to no clothes with their bikes, some good friends of mine have accepted this societal norm wholeheartedly; sex sells and money and attention come from great bodies.
Through years in the sport, I've realized one very awesome reality: whether we like it or not, we are role models for younger athletes.  As our sport explodes in popularity, kids do get to know and look up to women who are racing in the area.  I never set out to mentor any individual intentionally, however over the years I've found that I was unknowingly doing just that. It's been a real honor to watch a few of these young girls grow and mature into strong confident young women who are now too succeeding in their endurance sport endeavors.  Whether we like it or not, when we put ourselves out there as athletes (and particularly when we are successful at it) we are role models for younger athletes.  It doesn't matter if these girls never see the calendar, knowing that its out there is all they need to know.
Perhaps this project really is for a good cause.  Admittedly, I do not know much about the proposed charity, its objectives or this project's fundraising goals.  Even this doesn't seem to allay my discomfort with this project.  We have a serious, awful problem with safety on the roads here in Jacksonville.  I've been hit once and was lucky to only escape with a lot of road rash and a totaled bike.  We all know someone who has been hit and too many of us know of someone close to us who has been killed.  Improving safety on the roads is an incredibly difficult and complex topic.  We have several community members, lawyers and moms, who have taken up the fight for our rights as cyclists.  They've dedicated countless hours to organizing campaigns, festivals, community meetings and referendums to improve our safety on the road.  It hasn't been an easy fight and they often take a lot of abuse from a subsection of the community unwilling to share the road.  Some of these fights have become so vitreous that they can easily be interpreted as direct personal threats to cycling advocates in our community.  I wonder if they find that this effort would really benefit their cause?  Does representing our sport in this manner really help non-cyclists understand and/or respect us?  There are many unanswered questions which we could debate about how this particular project helps our cause in the community.  I would challenge the organizer of this project to show precisely how baring all for a little cash is improving the complex relationship between drivers and cyclists in northeast florida.
I'm all for community involvement, charity projects and making our community a better place to live and bike.  I'm all for bringing attention to the amazing pool of talented female athletes we have in our community.  But I really question that this is the best way to do it.  It seems as women that we only hold ourselves back from progress when we devalue ourselves in this way.  Getting mostly naked for the camera just doesn't scream "share the road" to me.

Monday, March 3, 2014

Mommy's a Badass

Yesterday I surfed for what felt like the first time in years.  Neil held C on the beach and as I paddled away, I felt all the tensions and anxieties I had been holding melt away.  Just me, the cold salty waves and my favorite long board that I've ridden since my very first wave.  I felt FREE and it was exhilarating.
One part about motherhood I could have never anticipated, is how difficult it is to find yourself again after you have a child.  In fact, I didn't realize until very recently that I had lost myself.
The past few years, I had been feeling really overdosed on endurance sport culture.  I loved my friends and still love the sport tremendously, but I needed more meaning than the monotony of training and racing talk.  Watts, weight, race schedules, training, who beat who at what race... the obsessive level we can all take the sport to got really tiring for me.  I struggled in search of meaning in the midst of my triathlon obsession.  In motherhood I found the most real, raw emotions and meaning I had ever felt in my life and I clung to every bit of it.  In motherhood there was truth and a sense that nothing was more important in the world than my new job of nuturing, loving and raising my little boy.
As the sleepless nights and daily pressures mounted for months on end, I had a growing sense of isolation.  Being a working mom is no joke and getting used to the feeling that you are always just barely surviving was overwhelming to me.  As my friend Marissa joked so accurately, you have to be ok with being mediocre at everything.  Not an easy feeling to sit with.
Triathlon was always my escape. My chance to get a sense of perspective on myself and on life. I had no doubt I would be up and running again shortly after C's birth.  But 7 months into motherhood I wasn't running at all- in fact I couldn't even remember the last time I had even walked around the block much less done a real workout. I tried to sign up for a race in hopes of getting my butt in gear, but the last thing I wanted to do on cold winter evenings after surviving another sleepless night and another stressful work day was go out for a run.  I tried to.  I would get C to bed, eat, wash all the bottles and pack for the next day and then verbally abuse myself to get out the door to run.  Those were some of the worst and hardest runs of my life.  I wouldn't even make it a mile.  It hurt, I was out of breath, my incision/hip/knee/foot whatever hurt.  My mind had never been so far in the gutter.  I would beat myself up because the one thing which always brought me serenity was now my greatest pain.  I was lucky if I ran a half mile before walking home defeated.  Maybe tomorrow I thought.....  This painful cycle went on for months.
I never wanted to be supermom- maintaining a high powered career, racing ironmans and having a bazillion super talented children. I just wanted to be mom.  I cried many nights over this powerful emotion.
But slowly I began to realize that just being mommy, wasn't being ME.

As I paddled away into the ocean yesterday, I felt the power of my son watching me.  It's not that he could actually SEE me surf- even if a 7 month old could see that far, my guy would surely be more interested in eating the sand and giggling at the wind blowing in his face.  But just his mere presence gave me a sense of perspective.
I often back out on big waves because I'm afraid. Sitting right in the pocket I will pull back to my husband's annoyance because I'm scared of not getting up fast enough and eating it, or going over the falls and getting pinned under or even hitting the sand bar and ending up with a head injury.
As I paddled into my first wave and thought of bailing I suddenly committed no matter the cost. I let go of all my fear and just had FUN.
Why? All that kept going through my mind was "because mommy's a badass."  Because this is how I want my son to see me.  Fearless, happy and charging it.

I've been ignoring who I am in favor of being mommy and I was losing the greatest gift I could give to my son: being myself.

I've spent so much time being modest and downplaying my accomplishments and I just had this sudden epiphany.  Not every kid gets to have a mom who has earned her way to the ironman world championships, a mom who stood atop many a hard earned podium and earned all american honors year after year, a mom who surfs, a mom who travels the country and the world teaching, a mom who is a faculty member at a university..... a mom who has grabbed life with all her heart and taken every God given opportunity to experience all that it has to offer.

Being myself is the greatest gift I can give to my son.  Why?
Because mommy's a badass.  And don't you forget it kiddo.

Friday, August 16, 2013


Early labor. Not painful at all, I was thinking I was superwoman at this point.

Neil helping me through contractions, now it hurts

3 crashes later, I can only be on my left side with oxygen in order to keep Curren's heart rate up

Emergency C-Section. So scared wondering if Curren would be okay after hours of scary moments

Its the funniest thing.  Towards the end of pregnancy, some crazy hormone gets emitted and suddenly its like a bee flew up your ass.  I became a frenzied mess, anxiously consuming every possible product I might potentially need for our pending arrival.  Waking late at night thinking about that one thing I would need yet didn't buy; wondering if each ache, pain, cramp or twinge was the start of labor.  Fantasizing about my water breaking and leaving the house for the last time as a family of two.  Wondering when the persistent questioning about his pending arrival would finally cease.
The baby business does a great job exploiting these emotions and fears and gets you to open your wallet (or credit card as it were) nice and wide.  All the things I bought to prepare for Curren's arrival didn't get to the heart of the problem though.  How on earth do you prepare for the biggest life change you'll likely ever experience?  How do you prepare to become a mother? Would I be a good mom? Would I love my baby? Would I love being a mother? How on earth would I deal with having such a dependent little being rely on me and me alone? What if I screw up as a mother or worse, what if something goes wrong in labor and my little guy doesn't turn out ok?
Unfortunately, no amount of baby gear sitting in your home will prepare you for motherhood.  The truth is, nothing will.  Difficult as it is, you just have to live in the moment of pregnancy and enjoy each precious second your baby kicks away inside of you-- enjoy each special day that they grow ever so slightly bigger.
My birth didn't go as planned but such is life.  As much as I wanted a natural delivery, what I ultimately wanted was a healthy baby.  My fears of home birthing and being away from a doctor during birth were realized when the scary scenario hit after laboring naturally through the night.  I'm so thankful for quick thinking and acting doctors, nurses and my doula who were all so integral in Curren arriving safe and sound.  He gave us quite a scare and the emergency c-section couldn't have been more than 4 minutes from the decision to go and Curren's first screams in the big wide open world.  Laying on that operating room table totally numb physically and in tears of fear and anticipation, I thought I would never hear that sweet sweet cry. But suddenly out of what seemed like total silence, there it was.

There he was.

After months of getting to know every movement and hiccup of this creature in my belly, there we were making eye contact for the first time.

The whole world melts away in that moment. I didn't even realize Neil was right there until I heard his voice a long time later.  I just kept saying hi to my little guy, calling him by his name and sobbing as I told him I was his mommy.  His wet and warm little body snuggled up tight to my chest.  I could live in that moment forever, that beautiful gaze.  I wanted so badly to inspect every bit of his anatomy but was tied down to lines and tubes and still getting sewn up.  Neil finally said something and Curren lifted his head up and over to see his Dad for the first time.

We entered that operating room and that hospital as one person and left as two separate people.  The first step in going out into the big wide world.  Even still now, sometimes I wish I could hold you in my belly and protect you for just a moment longer.  To savor one last moment of it just being you and I together as one.
Immediately after he was born, Neil and I reflected upon how all the stress and buying was truly a waste. Once Curren was here in our arms, none of it mattered.  The crib, the mattress, the pack and play and all the clothes... The endless piles of baby gear.  Nothing can prepare you for that moment when you are touched by the presence of God in real life.  When that angel looks you in the eyes for the first time and you are brought to your knees by the realization that our imperfect selves and the deep love we hold for each other created this perfect miracle.  Nothing can prepare you for that.

Suddenly we realized we don't need anything. Everything that mattered in life was already in that hospital room.  Two of us now become three.  Family together for the first time.  Nothing else matters.

I don't think I slept at all for the first three nights.  I didn't want to miss a moment. I would sit up all night and just stare at this beautiful little human- part me and part Neil... part every descendent that came before us.  I've never cried so many tears of joy, of admiration, of thankfulness to God.  The middle of the night, that quiet hospital room with Neil passed out on the couch and this new piece of our life in the bassinet between us.
Life would never be the same.
Life would only get better from here.

Emily our doula and guardian angel


First poo :)

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Reflections in the last weeks of my first pregnancy

Although I wasn't opposed to blogging through my pregnancy experience, I wasn't sure how much of this personal time I really wanted to share publicly.  The past year I've become acutely aware of the influence of social media in distorting all things related to reality including self perception, time and the influence of essentially creating a virtual version of yourself.  One cannot deny when blogging, tweeting and facebooking, we are so often creating a version of ourselves which may omit parts of the whole truth.  I've always strived for pure honesty in my writing but yet I cannot deny this sense of developing an internet "alter-ego" as this one dimensional space we are all so connected by can hardly contain within it the full genuine nature of ones self.  Acutely aware of this, I felt disinclined to blog much during this 40 week journey but as fate would have it, this has been an incredibly tumultuous time for the three of us and one in which I lacked much inspiration to write anyhow.
Pregnancy was something I had always looked forward to in life and much like one's wedding day, I now see that I had many preconceived visions of what it would be like.  Most of which could be summed up by envisioning a hippy woman braless in a white linen dress dancing joyfully in the sunshine- eating organic foods, meditating, doing yoga and being in an endless state of bliss as I nourished the little life inside my womb.  Contrast that to reality and surely there is some disappointment in the way in which things actually unfolded.
The short version of the last few months is that our landlord unexpectedly sold our apartment at the beach and requested us to be out with about 2 weeks notice back in February.  We already had an offer in on a short sale but with no end in sight on that front, we embarked on a journey of being nearly homeless while we hoped and prayed our house would close in time for the baby.
Leaving 7th street was incredibly emotional. When we moved here from the virgin islands in 2005 and that dingy little beach apartment was our first home together. 7th street is where we lived when Neil asked for my hand in marriage, where we lived for our wedding and honeymoon. Where I trained and dreamed big for years eventually reaching the holy grail of Kona. Where all our friends resided. Where we watched many sunsets go by sitting out in the street watching the kids play after a long day of surfing and training.  Our 7th street apartment was where we found out that I was carrying our first child.  Many tears were shed as Neil and I stood shocked in our empty apartment on the night we left. So many important memories were shared within that space.
Its not easy to rent around here short term, especially with a dog.  Long story short, a friend had a condo north of town, off the beach that was a steal and we moved in temporarily and anxiously awaited news on the short sale.  Each email, text and phone call from realtors, banks and mortgage companies slowly eroded our excitement.  Joy about our first home turned to utter anxiety and it was hard to keep hopes up as each deadline passed and promises of progress towards closing went unfulfilled.  We were sad being in this lonely condo away from our friends, our destination so uncertain and my belly growing bigger by the day.  The nausea of pregnancy never really left me and I had almost no appetite the entire time.  Forcing myself to eat something every day was like torture and without a kitchen to properly cook in, I was far from nourishing myself and our child as I needed to.
Then came the real shocker- we found out that the condo adjacent to ours had formerly been a meth lab. One that had not been properly cleaned.  We came home one day to a dumpster full of  construction material and a guy tracking us down to tell us the news.
And we were really homeless then.  Thank God for friends who took us in-- dog, pregnancy and all.  Couch surfing at 7 months pregnant is depressing enough let alone the fear, anxiety and sadness that my child was potentially exposed to harmful chemicals we knew nothing about.  The first night we spent couch surfing I realized I needed absolutely nothing in life. It mattered not that we only had only a few pieces of clothes in our car and no roof over our head.  It only mattered that we had each other and that I had this child safe within me.  It's been a very long time since I've felt a sadness so deep as feeling that I had somehow allowed my unborn child to be exposed to harmful chemicals.  It was almost as painful as grieving the death of a close friend.
Fastforward a few weeks of homelessness and we did finally close on our first house and we are continuing to renovate and prepare for baby.  Only the last few days can I say I've really been more relaxed and able to focus on the arrival of our precious little gift.  As with so many experiences in life, the hardest thing is letting go in order to accept and enjoy where I am in life. I had to let go of the guilt that I hadn't had my ideal hippy pregnancy- it actually couldn't have been much further from the stress and chemical free environment I once envisioned for myself.  I can't change the past few months and I can't question God why.  It just is.
I can make the most of these last 5ish weeks. I can be present in each moment and enjoy every huge kick and turn the baby makes. I can let go of the house not being perfect before the baby's arrival.  I can be full of joy that Neil and I are making our new home ours and that we are together and safe.  We are  HOME at last.  I never had any idea the meaning and importance of home until now.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Journey to the unknown

I read a quote the other day about pregnancy and becoming a mother.  It compared it to being like getting on a boat going to a foreign land where you don't know the language, the customs or really anything at all about what life will be like.  It is so true, it has really stuck with me since reading it.
Pregnancy and this slow evolution towards motherhood is really a great journey into the unknown and its a journey I've really embraced and loved so far.
I think you can look upon it with fear and anxiety- suddenly there is so much that is out of your control.  How you look, how you feel, what clothes you can fit into, whether your body will be up to a gentle workout or request a few more hours on the couch.... My appetite has changed dramatically and I still universally dislike almost every food despite the fact that the nausea subsided long ago.
But housing this little tenant has become a really beautiful part of life. We have a schedule together and he or she tends to be really active at the same times of the day. I can feel the baby startle if my alarm goes off earlier than normal and if my appetite takes a turn for the adventurous, the baby will react to the new tastes in my tummy.  Its hard not to smile and take notice when the baby is kicking up a storm and laying on the couch and watching the kicks and punches is a surreal joy.
I get asked really frequently if I miss training and triathlon and the answer isn't easy.  In a lot of ways I do. I miss the endorphin rush and the high of a great work out. I miss the way my body feels when I fly on a run and I definitely miss the feeling when my body is in synch and firing on all cylinders when racing.  Those feelings of accomplishment, connectedness with other athletes and the joy of surpassing goals you once thought impossible are unforgettable moments in life.  But at the same time, I can't imagine my life any other way right now.  If I would have raced this season, I don't feel like it would be the same.  I've been there done that and thoroughly enjoyed it.  Triathlon was a major lens for self growth during the past 5 or so years but that lens was intensely focused only on myself.  I've always felt to progress in life emotionally, spiritually and physically, you have to force yourself to the next step, the new challenge... even if it means walking away from or putting on hold something you love.  To continue to live life as I have the past few years, I would stagnate spiritually and emotionally.  Its time for this next step to become a mom and for us to learn to be a family.  I so cannot wait for the day I get to look into my baby's eyes for the first time and see Neil and I and our love in one little being.

Sunday, December 30, 2012

The Kiwi

I have a really good reason for not blogging.  I'm not fake and I can't be dishonest; therefore, I could not write about anything but the truth of my life as it is right now.  The truth is my life has been taken over by really big life-changing events that I haven't been ready to blog about.
I've written this blog so many times in my head over the years and now here I am and it is real.  I'm very thrilled to announce that I am pregnant!

But now I'm torn with the question of what to do with this blog. I love it, its my outlet and I love to write honestly and openly about life.  But, when it comes to starting a family, its a whole new level of personal and I've struggled with how much to share. I suppose if I keep it within the framework of triathlon, it may hold interest still to some but obviously triathlon is going to be rather de-emphasized in my life in the coming months.
For many years I always wondered how triathlon mommies do it.  How did they know when they were ready? What was it like giving up racing or do they still continue to race? How does it feel to work out when you're pregnant? And many other rather trivial questions troubled me and lead me to realize that my preoccupations with the superficialities of pregnancy most likely meant that I was not ready to have a child.
And maybe this is where I can start and share my own experience (which is bound to be entirely different than anyone elses' because this is truly one of the most personal journeys one walks in life).
For me, it started as a whisper.  Early in my 20's I questioned my ability to be a mother.  Never really having had one myself, I felt that I lacked the innate selflessness and connectedness with children that I saw others had. As with anything in life, I avoid absolutes.  Life changes, you change and if you leave yourself closed to experiences by udderly denying or steadfastly holding to the idea of them, you miss out on some of life's greatest challenges and experiences.  So I remained open to what life had in store.
Becoming part of Neil's family really started to open my mind to having a family as I got to know them more and more.  There was a richness in life that his family has in being so close and my idea of the meaning of adult life slowly transformed to include having a family.  It started as a far away whisper which could not compete with the triathlon life I was absorbed in. It was a distant idea, a "someday" abstraction.  But I knew it wasn't yet time.
As I met and exceeded all that I had dreamed of in triathlon, I began to reassess my goals and direction in life.  Sure, I still have triathlon goals- lots of them in fact. The funny thing is I'm no longer afraid to share them aloud.  For many years when Kona was the goal, I never said it aloud or admitted it to anyone but Neil. I believed in myself and I never wanted to hear the doubt of others or to have people impose their doubts upon me.  I didn't want people to think I was arrogant or conceited to believe I could achieve such a difficult goal. Truth be told, I cared way too much about what other people thought, but that's besides the point.  Some part of me also harbored a curiosity about going pro. I think we all do when we realize we have potential in this sport.  How can you not wonder if you worked really really hard and dreamed really really big if you too could make it to the top of the sport?  Although that was never the primary goal, I did want to know if it was possible and if I had that potential.
I think I answered that question for myself in earnest in my racing the past few years. I know my strengths and my weaknesses, I've seen others close to me make that huge leap and the sacrifices that it took.  For me, I believe that if I worked incredibly hard at it for at least 3-5 more years and had a work situation that allowed for better recovery, I could hack it as a bottom tier pro. But I've seen enough of myself to know that I do not have what it takes to be a top pro- I just wasn't given the gifts that the most elite in our sport have.  I also learned that mentally, I'm not strong enough to enjoy the leap from elite amateur to last ranking pro.  To some extent, it was a relief when I realized this in the past year or two. I felt like I could confidently cross that off my list without an ounce of regret and that I could be entirely satisfied with what I have achieved.
What I still want to do in the sport is be on the podium in my age group in Vegas and Kona and I know that will be a huge undertaking.  I want to get my 70.3 run time down under 1:30 and I know that I can be a low 10:xx ironman athlete.  I know I can run sub 3:30 off the bike given the opportunity for my legs and my digestive system to continue to mature in the sport.
The problem was that none of these remaining goals held any meaning to me when compared to starting a family. And that's how I knew, for me, in this one shallow aspect of my life, that I was ready to have a family. Obviously there are many more aspects to our decision than its effects on my triathlon career but for the purpose of this blog, this is the only piece I will write about.
What started as a whisper slowly became more of an urgent and persistent roar and I felt compelled to begin to push life in the direction of having a family.  It was truly the most important journey in life that I had not yet begun.
I went into the race in New Zealand knowing it would be my last which lead to a whole host of different emotions. I know I will race again, but I know things will never be the same as they once were once we embarked upon this journey.  Neil wanted to be sure I had no regrets this last race and we talked a lot about me racing my heart out and making it hurt so that I could look back and be pleased with the completion of this part of my life.  I remember taking a long hot shower after the race in Auckland and knowing that washing that race off me was the start of something new. I stepped out of the shower with the strange perception that I was stepping into a new phase of life and I had this moment of prophetic pause that I was standing at the precipice of my old life and the new adventure to come.
Sure enough, just as I had expected it was meant to be, our little kiwi was conceived in New Zealand.  Somehow Neil and I never had a doubt that it was meant to be this way even though I felt very naive to assume we would conceive our first time trying. I knew the odds were against us but deep down, we both new I left New Zealand pregnant even though it was too early to be totally sure.
We are thrilled, scared, anxious, nervous and even at times totally in disbelief that this little miracle is occurring as we continue on with our daily business but we are beyond blessed and thankful.  We are so ready to walk this journey hand in hand and we are accepting of the changes and challenges that we will face as parents.   Will I be a triathlete again? I think so.  But it just won't ever be as important and life absorbing as it once was.

Life is amazing. Go out and live it every day.