Why I want to be an Iron(wo)man

Riding my bike during a triathlon in 2017

One month from today, I will embark on the most ambitious athletic endeavor I have ever undertaken at Ironman Boulder. Most people think I’ve lost my mind when they find out that I’ve voluntarily signed up (and paid money) to swim 2.4 miles, bike 112 miles, and then run 26.2 miles all in one day.

So, why do it? Why register for such a seemingly impossible feat? Well, that’s exactly why – because I literally don’t know if it’s actually possible for me to finish this distance. First and foremost, I want to show myself that it’s possible – it’s probably no surprise that I enjoy being challenged, so this is actually right up my alley. I also want to show others who might be struggling with some barrier that even when things are hard and may seem impossible, sometimes we can surprise ourselves with how far we can go with enough “stick-to-it-ness” and a solid support team. I don’t generally use this word, but I want to inspire others to believe in themselves and motivate them to take action on that belief. I want them to know that things are hard sometimes, but that doesn’t mean we should quit. I also want to show little girls that women are strong, and that they shouldn’t let other people or society place limitations on them.

Like a bull in a china shop, I intend to keep moving forward on race day despite anything that is thrown at me in the hope that my experience, and sharing that experience, will drive others to push themselves beyond whatever barrier it is they believe is standing in their way. As far as I am aware, I will be one of a handful of female amputees to complete a full Ironman and will be the first female amputee to complete Ironman Boulder if when I cross the finish line on June 10th. That’s a pretty cool experience to show how far I’ve come since I ran my very first 5k in May of 2013, and I feel like it gives me what feels like a full circle sorry that I can use to help newer athletes see what can be possible if they do stick with it even when it’s really, really, really hard, and also show them that it’s not something that can be done overnight, but requires time and consistency.

Coach Mark has full faith in me and he’s been guiding my training for years, so I trust the process and I trust that he’s gotten me where I need to be for race day, but there are still so many unknowns that could completely change the day (and inconsistent knowns that I can’t control like my prosthesis rubbing me weird that day). That being said, I am fully committed to controlling the factors I can in order to set myself up to execute my race because I’m very excited to earn the privilege of calling myself an Iron(wo)man starting a month and one day from today… Wish me luck!

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