The Biggest Surprise

I got the biggest surprise today in the mail.

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I have four new Fairy Godmother’s that are cheering and looking out for me. When I opened the package, I started to cry. I am not much of a crier…. wait a minute….. yes, I am. I could not believe that these four women thought that I was special enough to send one of their own finisher’s medals to me for encouragement to reach for my dream.

I have now set my goal for my first Dream…. Ironman Florida 70.3 Haines City in 2016. This will give me about 9 months to train after I have surgery.

Speaking of surgery…

I see the surgeon on Monday, June 1st for my final visit before getting approval from the insurance company.
If everything goes according to plan, we should hear back in 7 to 10 days. Then surgery will be scheduled. Looking at the end of June/July.

Update on the office/training room

The walls and trim are all painted.

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Curtains are up.

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And the sayings are on the wall, waiting to be completed

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While doing all of this, I took a trip to the foot doctor and I came home with this……

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Looks like I will be getting custom inserts.

Tip of the day…. don’t hit the backspace button too many times.

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A winning dream

I had the most wonderful dream last night.

I won my first Tri and I didn’t know that I won until names were announce. Not sure of the distance, but I know that I won. I was so excited this morning when I woke up. Best dream to have.

I have been working on my office/training room.

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Before

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The destruction
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OUCHIE from the hammer

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Needed tons of this for the wall.

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Safety First

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Getting ready for the last step. Need to wet sand and then clean the walls. Should be ready by this weekend to get the primer up on the walls.

I am going with a blue color for all of the walls and then add color when I can. I have a saying that I am going to put up on the main wall that I will be looking at when I am training.

“DREAMS START HERE”

I am also going add some chalkboard paint to something so I can keep track of my workouts along with a mirror. It will be a slow process, but I am getting very excited about it.

My view on why we need 50 women at Kona

Over the last several months there has been the “Thing” going on in the wonderful world of Triathlons, but mostly in the world of Ironman racing. I found recently that things are not all as they appear to be when it comes to equality in our sport. Yes, I am saying OUR sport. I am new to the sport but I am part of this group of wonderful athletes.
I will never make it to Kona for the world championships, even though I have been told never say never. I am a single, 45 year old, over weight mom trying to make a better life for not only myself but for my son. I know what it feels like to be excluded, to not be treated as an equal and multiple other issues that a person has to deal with growing up the fat girl. But I am not here to talk about me. I am here to talk about why I think it is important to have 50 professional women on the starting line at the World Championships in Kona.
In today’s world we are slowly changing the way we look at not only ourselves but those around us. There continues to be a very large stigma about what a girl can and can’t do. History over the years have shown us otherwise. We, as women can do anything that we set our minds to, from being a professional athlete to a stay at home mom. We do not deserve to be ridiculed about our decisions that we make about how we live our lives. The women who are active professional triathletes are just as or more important today than any other time in history. They are showing us that you can be a girl and do so many different things with your life. They are being the role models that I wished I had growing up. I may have been more active growing up if I had a Jodie Swallow, Beth Gerdes, DeDe Gtiesbauer, Mirinda Carfrae, Chrissie Wellington, Meredith Kessler, Mary Beth Ellis, Rachael Joyce, Sara Gross, Hilary Biscay and Caroline Steffen to name a few to look up to and try to be. We even now have newer role models that are showing girls that at any shape and size can do our sport: Meredith Atwood, Leslie Battle, Krista Henderson and Leah Gilbert.
This all leads up to WHY it is so important to fight this fight now. We are setting an example to girls everywhere that we will not sit and let an injustice pass us by. There are many that will say that the girls can never complete like the boys. Well of course we can’t we are completely different. BUT we are just as good as or better than the boys. This should be celebrated and not shunned. WTC and its Ironman brand have the opportunity to do just that, celebrate women.
They started a group called Women for Tri. Many wonderful, experienced, strong women were invited to be on the first board. The goal of the board is to find a way to grow the sport and have more women participate. This is the growth that they are wanting, but will not happen until they open up the spaces and make qualifying points just as equal. We have women and men of all shapes, sizes and athletic ability join our sport; hey look at me, but we have to make it equal for all. It will take time but it can happen. Just need to take that first bite out of the elephant, the bite for 50 women to Kona.

For more information on this subject go to: http://www.triequal.com

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I HATE MY BODY RIGHT NOW!!

This is a rant not about my weight, but my body in general. This may be a long story, so grab a snack or something to drink and happy reading.

Back in 2005 I had my son, everything went great. I was loving life, not that isn’t true. I had a bad case of Baby Blues on top of already having depression. Not a very good combination.  Now move forward 2 years, my Mom was told that she had lung cancer and was getting ready to start treatment and one morning I woke up and couldn’t move very well.  I went to the chiropractor and it didn’t help, but made it worse.  After having a MRI, found out that I had herniation at L5 – S1 that was the size of my thumb. The Pain management doctor said we could try injections, but he was certain that I would need surgery.

I ended up having surgery in October  2007 right after my son’s 2nd birthday. Things got better, I went back to work after being off for 6 weeks. Then I lost my mom on March 5, 2008. To me my world came to an end, but  life had to move on and I tried really hard. Had issues at work and at home, ate everything in site. Then in 2009 I started having issues once again. This time it was much different.  My right leg would go completely numb and tingle.  Went back to the pain doctor and had another MRI. Then I got the phone call. There was nothing that they could offer me and suggested surgery.

So, I head into my 2nd back surgery, scared, with a 4 year old and my mom not being here. I have a very supportive family and they helped me so much.  I am now fused from L4 to S1. Wearing a Turtle shell brace and walking with a walker.  I moved and started a new job and things were going well. I was into my 2nd year at the new job and the pain started back again. I didn’t think much about it as I was working in Nursing Education. Then I lost my job. It was both a curse and blessing.

After about a month of looking for a job, I finally found one in Orlando at Florida Hospital on the Neurosurgical unit. I was very lucky that I had insurance that started on day one of hire. My back had other plans for me.  I couldn’t do my job, I was in pain all of the time. I would go to work and isolate myself from my co workers due to the pain. After waiting for over about 2 months, I was finally able to get in to see the  surgeon.  Ended up needing a Myelogram to take a look at the hardware that was already placed. The news did not come back good. My hardware was loose and moving.

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So, on July 31, 2012 and August 1, 2012 I had a total of 2 different surgeries. I am now fused both front and back to the L4 -S1 area. I continue to  have pain due to the large amount of scar tissue built up around the L4 nerve root. The only options that I have now are medications, which I didn’t tolerate or having an implanted nerve stimulator. I don’t want the stimulator and I am hoping with weight loss surgery it will help.

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Santa, UPS delivery person, came to my house today.

OMG!! I am so excited.  Let me explain.

A few weeks ago @swimbikemom head a contest for other athletes to donate their used Garmin’s or other watches that will track by GPS your run, bike and swims. I entered the contest each and everyday, not thinking that I would get one.

Guess What?????  I WON A GARMIN 910TX with heart monitor.

I could not believe it. Then she had another contest for Roka swimming goggles and I won one of them also.

I got everything today in the mail and by Santa. I truly believe that God is trying to tell me something and I am starting to listen.

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My wonderful friend Heather Tolley Bauer got me the book by Meredith Atwood and she signed it too!

I am so blessed with wonderful friends.