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Never take a race for granted

by Meghann on May 25, 2012

I’m running a triathlon tomorrow.

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How do I keep forgetting this?

I remember how nervous I was the day before my first triathlon in 2009. My sister and I had semi-trained for the WIld Man sprint triathlon together. She was living in Tallahassee at the time and had come down to visit the week before the race. We conquered our first open water swim together (sans swim cap and wetsuit in the freezing water) and worked in a run and bike ride.

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Then something horrible happened. That Sunday my sister was hit by a car while riding her bike. She was airlifted to a nearby trauma center and miraculously managed to walk out on her own two feet just a couple of hours later with only some road rash and minor cuts – nothing serious. My sister’s helmet saved her life, and it’s the reason why she’s still with us today.

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I wasn’t sure I wanted to do the triathlon anymore after Kelly’s accident. She managed to walk away with only a few scrapes and bruises, but the bruises were enough to have her sit out from training for a week – no more triathlon for her. After spending so much time training for the race, she was upset – as I would have been – but she wouldn’t let me call it quits too. She made me promise to do the race without her.

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So I did. What started out as a sister race remained a sister race as I ran the race in her honor. Not having my sister doing the race by my side was tough, but knowing she was on the sidelines and knowing she was cheering me on helped me push through it.

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That race was just over three years ago now. Kelly wasted no time recovering from her accident (she ended up running a 15 mile race a little more than a month later) and since then we’ve done a couple of triathlons together, as well as a half-ironman last September where we crossed the finish line together hand-in-hand.

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This whole week I’ve been looking at the Crystal River Sprint Triathlon as “just another race.” It’s a sprint…. I’ve done countless now (even longer ones)… I know I’ll survive… Yadda… Yadda… Yadda.

What a horrible attitude! It wasn’t until I started writing this post (not quite sure what direction I was going) that I’d realized I’d taken this race – and my ability to race – for granted.

Even though my sister has long since recovered, I owe her the same respect I showed her in my first triathlon because – the truth is – you really don’t know what tomorrow will bring. An accident can take any of us out tomorrow and take away our ability to do what we love. We owe it to ourselves to live every day to the fullest and cherish each race experience as they come. I don’t want to take this race (or any race!) for granted. My body and my mind is strong and I’m thankful for that everyday.

Tomorrow won’t just be “any other race” it will be an amazing race. It will be my first triathlon since my half ironman this past fall, it will be my first triathlon with my new XP Multisport teammates, and it will be the first race in a while where Derek will be there cheering me on. This isn’t just any race – it’s a new beginning and it was nice to be reminded of that. πŸ™‚

1 Mary May 25, 2012 at 2:37 pm

Well said, sister! Have fun and enjoy! Can’t wait to read about it tomorrow!!
Mary recently posted..Run Raleigh Half Marathon Race Recap

2 Tori @ In Love and Peanut Butter May 25, 2012 at 2:41 pm

Such an awesome post! We really are lucky to have the ability to run, bike, and swim. What a great reminder.

Have an awesome race tomorrow!
Tori @ In Love and Peanut Butter recently posted..My Ideal Me

3 Kinley @ Better Off Barefoot May 25, 2012 at 2:42 pm

This is way too true! I have gotten in a funk lately about feeling like my races are “just another race” blah blah blah and I am trying to get that bad thought out of my head! I want to enjoy every run/race I do and love each one for its own reason(s)!

PS, you have me wanting to try a tri… I am terrified of swimming so it might take my mind a few years to warm to the idea πŸ™‚
Kinley @ Better Off Barefoot recently posted..Holiday Friday!

4 Katie @ Peace Love & Oats May 25, 2012 at 2:43 pm

Have a GREAT TIME at the race tomorrow! I often have to remind myself how lucky I am to have a body that is capable of doing what I love to do!
Katie @ Peace Love & Oats recently posted..Garden of the Gods

5 Bethany @ Accidental Intentions May 25, 2012 at 3:02 pm

This is a fantastic post. The more often you do something like racing, the less special it becomes. I know I definitely take my ability to run races (even extremely un-competitively πŸ˜‰ ) super for granted. Thanks for a much needed reminder πŸ™‚
Bethany @ Accidental Intentions recently posted..Thursday Things

6 Annette @FitnessPerks May 25, 2012 at 3:31 pm

GREAT post!! SO true πŸ™‚ Good luck tomorrow!!
Annette @FitnessPerks recently posted..Friday Fab Five

7 Corey @ Learning Patience May 25, 2012 at 3:35 pm

Enjoy your race and good luck!

xoxo from Trinidad
Corey @ Learning Patience recently posted..Runners High

8 Betsy May 25, 2012 at 4:13 pm

I love this. Yes. Ever since my little brother died suddenly (at age 227) just before christmas 2011, I have made a concerted effort to participate, interact, and be present. In every single activity. At work. At home. On vacation. You never know whats just around the corner.

9 Christine May 25, 2012 at 4:29 pm

Fun fact: I was at your first tri, because it was my first too (and only, lol, as I haven’t been as brave as you to go on to longer distances)! I didn’t read Meals and Miles back then, so I had no idea. How fun/small world is that??

Have a great time at your tri tomorrow. And even though it happened years ago, I’m glad your sister is ok!
Christine recently posted..Use Your Imagination: Tantalizing Tastes & Tours

10 Lynna May 25, 2012 at 4:56 pm

You are going into this with a good attitude…rock your race!
Lynna recently posted..It’s that green time of year…

11 Lena @Fit on the Rocks May 25, 2012 at 5:27 pm

What a great post. I actually started reading your blog when you sister was hit, and your current attitude with races is amazing. I need to keep that in mind as I do some fun 5ks this summer after doing much longer races.
Lena @Fit on the Rocks recently posted..Hungerless in Seattle

12 Hillary May 25, 2012 at 5:40 pm

This is something I’ve been thinking about quite a lot lately. I have a few students this year who have some pretty severe physical handicaps, and seeing what they have to deal with on a daily basis has made me eternally grateful for (and more aware of) my physical health. The fact that I can walk out my door and go for a run is such a huge blessing.

Good luck tomorrow!

13 Laura is Undeterrable May 25, 2012 at 6:09 pm

Getting hit by a car is one of my biggest fears while cycling – and it’s why I don’t do it as much as I would really like to. I’m so glad your sister got back in the saddle (pun intended).

Good luck tomorrow!
Laura is Undeterrable recently posted..Flashback Friday – Dancing Queen

14 Aubrey May 25, 2012 at 6:31 pm

What a blessing that you’re sister was OK!

Have a fantastic time at your race tomorrow!! WOOOHOOOO It’s finally summer, glad you’re kicking it off right πŸ˜‰
Aubrey recently posted..Book Club II

15 Army Amy* May 25, 2012 at 6:45 pm

Good health is priceless. It can be easy to forget. Have a great race!*
Army Amy* recently posted..Putting my Boys to the Test

16 SaraRM May 25, 2012 at 7:00 pm

Wow what a great post and great reminder to cherish every moment no matter how routine it may be!! Thank you for posting this.

17 Angela @ Happy Fit Mama May 25, 2012 at 8:55 pm

Isn’t there a country song called, “Live like you’re dying?” This kind of reminds me of that. Don’t take anything for granted. Live like it’s the last time you will ever be able to do anything. Thanks for the reminder and good luck!
Angela @ Happy Fit Mama recently posted..Let’s Hear It For the Core

18 Sarah May 25, 2012 at 10:25 pm

BRAVO! Yes! You make an excellent point!
Sarah recently posted..Obsess much?

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