BOOK IT

Back in the hood, I remember this phrase meaning you had to run as fast as you could, usually to avoid a situation or in order to make it to somewhere when late. But here, I mean The MC Book. Well, training and work are at their peak these next four weeks so no racing in May. My next event will be the Bandits Challenge Triathlon in Wilkesboro on June 16th. It’s rated as one of the toughest courses for international distance triathlon (1m swim, 40K bike, 10K run), so I am looking forward to the challenge and now to racing in my AAA gear. Thanks to Alejandro for the name screen printing on the race kits to add a great touch! I am working on some projects, one with Karhu (hint) and should call for some fun times in June. For now, I have included the opening of the MC book which is complete, but constantly open for additional revisions. I though I would post some pages now and then for a preview.

 

It is October 24, 1997. My number is 340. Here I am, on the Queen K highway in Hawaii. Sun full blast beating down on the black road. My bike tires roll along and feel like they are melting. I feel like I am melting. I am 85 miles into a 112 mile bike ride. Did I mention I just finished swimming 2.4 miles in the ocean with 1500 other athletes from around the world who had to qualify to get here. Did I mention I still had 26.2 miles to run?  But this is what I have trained for. This is what I have sacrificed the past 3 years of my life to get to. I had a college degree. I studied about putting my body through this. And I was now halfway there to my finish line.

I don’t mind the heat, I actually race well in it, but this isn’t your ordinary heat. This is 90 plus and humidity. An even warmer wind blows in your face. Lava fields to your left and your right remind you that though this is paradise from a vacation standpoint, you are here to work. I focus on every emotion that got me here. I squeeze every ounce of juice that flows through my sweat and blood. My mind starts to gain strength, gain resolve, I actually relax. Things start to flow. A woman I pass offers me an oreo cookie. I smile and start to have some fun.

I make it off the bike and begin my journey on foot. I pass many who are reduced to a walk. Some lie on the ground in agony and then there are others who try to regain their strength but resting at the aid stations, rubbing their legs. They look as if they are smiling, but that is how strain is depicted in all of us this day.  I push on, knowing I am now in control of my race. I do not intend to stop.  The next three hours go by in a blur since my mind is flooded with emotion. I now reach two miles to go. I catch a glimpse of the once hot, blazing red sun begin its decent over the horizon and turn a “cool” orange glow, as if to say “good job, I am done with you for today, you have won.” I make the turn on Alli drive and the crowds send out a roar to welcome each one of us. I speed up, but then find myself slowing down to get a better look around me. I myself, feel as if I have entered the final pathway to heaven’s gates. I have made it through hell and have even survived my purgatory. The bright white lights illuminating the finish line depict my heaven. I am so close. I slow down. No, nothing is wrong, I just want to feel this some more. I am overwhelmed with emotion. My spirit is now carrying me these final steps. My arms pump and flap in celebration as if I have wings. I am only a few feet away now. The crowd noise is deafening. I walk. And it is in this final few steps, these final seconds, that I am so full of energy, that I being to yell, I scream out a cheer, and I cross the finish line. I have entered heaven’s gates. I feel as if I no longer have any more pain, no more soreness. I start to smile, laugh, and celebrate. I am embraced by volunteers who welcome me home, who hand me a towel to clothe me, and then I seek out my sisters who now carry me over each of their shoulders. It may have taken some eleven hours this day, but it has been done. And then I begin to cry.

I have become self-actualized.

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