|I look at this every morning|
Why? First off she said I was inspiring. Me! This woman, who is the champion of our sport, said I was inspirational because of all I've overcome physically to be a competitive athlete. I don't have words to describe how much that meant to me. When you have someone you idolize tell you that...there is no greater motivation. She took extra time to sit and talk to me about training and racing. I have often thought back to that conversion when toeing the start line at races all season.
Secondly, she validated the way I approach racing. People have often said I shouldn't be so hard on myself, pushing myself relentlessly, going into the pain cave during training and in every race...well, Rinny was the one that said "...you have to be ready to hurt at that next level in order to win" and "...in order to win you have to dig deep and suffer, and most people can't do that". That approach, that mentality is what gets me through races when my legs and lungs are on fire but I fight through it to cross that finish line...often for a podium spot. It was that mentality that after improper nutrition and hydration got me through heat exhaustion/heat stroke at Ironman 70.3 Syracuse to cross the finish line. It was that mentality that got me back on the bike after a terrible collision and crash at Timberman 70.3, gutting out the next 59 miles of the race to cross the finishline...taking an hour off the time I posted at Syracuse...even busted up. Timberman, that race and that finish, is one of my proudest achievements to date. Its that mentality that's pushed me through injury and fueled my ending up on podiums this season. My accomplishments this year are due in part to meeting one of my idols and the conversation Rinny had with me.
Congratulations again Rinny on not only becoming the Ironman World Champion once again but for setting the course record along the way. You inspire, motivate and change people's lives every day...I should know...I'm one of them!