Tri Grace: Looking back, and looking forward

After qualifying for the Hawaii IM Championships, at Buffalo Springs Lake, 2005

Well, it’s been over a week since my first big race of the season, and I’ve been recovering well although a little slower than I had expected.  Guess I really did lay it all out there – and I’m proud of that!  I want to write some stuff here other than triathlon blah-blah all the time, but hey, it’s kinda the reason I started this whole site anyway, isn’t it?

…I race again this up-coming weekend in Lubbock, Texas.  It’s the Buffalo Springs Lake 70.3 (Half Ironman).  I have done this race once before, back in 2005.  It was my very first half ironman, and lo and behold I actually won my age group at the time and thereby qualified for Kona that year.  That was crazy.  It was not a stellar performance, in fact it was pretty darn lousy and I didn’t race smart at all; I didn’t know how.  One memory of that day that will always stand out was staggering across the finishline into the med tent to receive two I.V. bags of fluid to counteract my dehydration.  I see my qualifying for Kona that year as an un-deserved gift that started this whole path I’ve been on to find my strength in endurance racing.  So, I’m pretty excited to return to a place called Lubbock that doesn’t get a lot of press for being the vacation capital of the world or a destination hot-spot, but I will hopefully redeem myself – if not in placement but in performance and race-smarts – on the challenging course under that roasting Texan sun this coming Sunday.

 

I’m thankful to my coach for getting me through this past recovery week into this one where I’m feeling ready to race again.  I’m thankful to all my supporters – family and friends – who’ve patted me on the back, sent me a million texts, emails, FaceBook posts, comments, read my blog, and validated my investment in this sport thus far.  I wanted to share three responses (out of so many, so please don’t feel bad if you sent me something and I’m not putting it here…everyone’s comments were so dear to me!) that made my heart sing because with their respective words, they wrapped me up in an embrace of validation that all this hard work and many sacrifices that I question frequently are appropriate, and are worth it at this time.

 

First and foremost – your performance on the course yesterday was absolutely deserved and inspiring. Without reaching for anything deeper than it needs to be, I think you even encouraged all of us that we can perform so much better than we may have thought or practiced in the past. That says a lot, to give something back to people in a sport that can be as selfish as Triathlon… it was a special day. All those little details you pay attention to – the ones that keep you in the gym longer, the ones that make you late from time to time – well they paid off. And while I am excited to see what you’ll get in to after your Pro career is over, at this point I couldn’t be more happy to see you target, then nail a goal. You are in your zone, and you have taken full advantage of it thus far. -Lucas McCain 6/13/11

 

Whitney, you are a rockstar girl. I am very impressed. You have many great races in your future. Its very rewarding for me to see you progress like you have. -Coach Curt Chesney 6/13/11

(Note:  Curt is not a man of many words, so the words he does share are truly packed with genuine intent)

 

Whitney…Congratulations on a great race… I can’t believe that was your first Pro race, incredible. My daughter, Lily, wanted me to thank you for signing her IronKids shirt. Keep up your amazing work with our senior citizens.     -Paul Brandt, father of an IronKids participant the day before my 70.3 race

 

And to keep it all in perspective, I must say that every single day I am grateful to have this healthy body, an active mind, a freakish desire to maintain the discipline it takes to do this kind of training day in and day out, and all the people in my life who love and support me even when they get pushed to the back burner at times.  I aim to daily turn this all over to the one who gives me breath and life – the God I truly believe in and trust – and try and make sure I don’t let triathlon (or anything, for that matter) rule me.

 

 

2 Responses to “Tri Grace: Looking back, and looking forward”

  1. It is awesome and inspiring to see the joyful of your blogs. Keep all of us as part of your unique experience ( Joyful: i don’t know if that word exist, sorry if wrong Spanglish from my side )

    Vamos con fuerza hacia adelante mi amiguita.
    Ricardo

  2. Nancie Garcia says:

    Hmmm, how was it I never heard about those 2 IV bags to rehydrate you after that race? Is that why you so frequently tell me now about staying hydrated being so important? I do know my daughter has always placed notable importance on learning from mistakes. Thank goodness for her good head! (And that, of course, goes so nicely with her good heart!)