I need to make changes!

Meredith Atwood/Swim Bike Mom

Yes, I am aware that is not a picture of my wife, Merrill. This is a picture of Meredith Atwood, AKA Swim Bike Mom and leader of Best Tri Club Ever (FYI, public registration will open up Nov. 1). What you see in this picture is pure joy, and also her true personality coming out after 70.3 miles of swimming, biking and running at IRONMAN 70.3 Augusta triathlon. This was not my experience, as I have written about.

Meredith is an amazing athlete. Also, she has the friendliest, most amazing smile when you are around mile 10-15 of the bike in Augusta. As I was riding at my plodding pace, this bike passes by me with an athlete in the BRIGHTEST outfit. She turns and flashes her smile and says, "Hey, YOU!" It was not the usual comment I was getting about Hello Kitty. It was more of a personal greeting. Unfortunately, at the time I could not for the life of me quite figure out who it was, but I did knew that I knew this person. To be honest, I couldn't figure out much of anything around that time. If Santa Clause came and stood in front of me I may have thought it was the Easter Bunny! Ok, ok, I wasn't that bad.

Who is Meredith? She is a woman who has gone through changes to get to where she is now...an athlete, a wife, a mother, a blogger and a business owner. Most importantly, she is an inspiration...mostly to women, but I know this man is inspired by her. Meredith has overcome big obstacles to get to where she is today.

The changes I need to make are not on the same level as Meredith, but they are changes I need to make in order to get a picture like her's at the finish line of IRONMAN 70.3 Augusta in 2018. I could have easily titled this post, "What Went Wrong!" From the moment I pulled myself out of the race and heard the stinging words, "Number 1780 is a DNF", I never regretted my choice. Nor, did I think for one moment that I had done anything wrong.
Before the race
One week later
This was a very symbolic moment when I cut this off. Wearing the IRONMAN 70.3 wristband was a badge of honor for me. Even though I did not finish, it still meant I tried.

Now, I move on! What's in the past is there and will stay. I need to move forward and get ready for next year. I have already started that by signing up for a sprint triathlon in 2 1/2 weeks. As soon as I got home, I was feeling unaccomplished. I needed to finish an event. That is why I will be participating in TriSumter on Oct. 21. Also, on Saturday, Oct. 7 (this Saturday), Merrill and I will be doing something we haven't done. We are going to run a relay half-marathon, Hartness Half. I am really excited about this. I hope Merrill is, also.

Something else that needs to change is this:

Yes, I am slouching in the chair...a little bit. Yes, I am wearing a skin tight shirt. That belly has got to go. I believe there are a couple factors at work, one of which may be an increase in medication, but that is not the whole reason. I haven't been disciplined in my eating habits. This will be difficult, but MUST be done. Every extra pound is extra work while swimming, biking and running. I can't have that again.

The last thing that MUST change is training. I know that I was under-trained for Augusta, but truly hoped I could get it done. That under-training with CAH created a perfect situation on the bike and is why I had to stop. Getting injured or worse was not worth the risk of continuing. Merrill and I will be doing, FINISHING, together, Tobacco Road Marathon together in March. Our training will be together and when we have done that the discipline is there. We both had this happen for Marine Corps Marathon two years ago. As  I read in a Facebook group, somewhat sarcastically, triathlon training is just training for a half-marathon/marathon with some cross-training of swimming and biking thrown into the mix. It's not that easy, but I really like the description becasue I have run many half-marathons and a marathon.

So, yes, there will some change in my life. It's nothing drastic. Things that need to be done will be done! I truly appreciate all the encouragement I continue to receive on this journey. 

Soon I will write about  how my hope-building, advocating and awareness-building are constantly reworking for the better. There are some truly amazing things happening which I cannot talk about quite yet. One thing I can talk about is that I am going to be rewriting my GoFundMe story. My fundraising goal is no longer to just get me to Augusta. It is to help me spread the word about Congenital Adrenal Hyperplasia. One of those ways, which is a major one, is training and participating in IRONMAN 70.3 Augusta. Speaking at conferences and to groups are other ways. Creating more of a web presence would help in other ways.
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To help me continue this journey, please visit: www.gofundme.com/my-ironman-journey. Any help is appreciated. It doesn't just help me get to Augusta.