For my reflection, I want to focus on--the TriBE. The truth is that everyone knew at least one other person starting out, but no one knew everyone except for Deb (because she made it a point to do so). But we became a TEAM. I realized the power of a name and a logo in how it creates a sense of belonging that carries on much further than the t-shirt.
I trained pitifully little--I'm not going to sugar coat that. This is my 7th triathlon and my life has been pretty messy. So there were a lot of you I hadn't met through the training process. But, despite that, I was still part of the TriBE. So when we all showed up on Saturday to check in with our shirts, there was an immediate sense of belonging, excitement, encouragement and acceptance. I was pulling for you all in the strongest way and I knew you were pulling for me. There was a sense of non-judgment, kinship and familiarity that you sometimes don't get with friends you've known for decades--and I couldn't even remember some of your names.
This race was very different from when it was at Disney. Some of the "magic" was gone from the unique venue for me. But, despite that--or maybe because of it--I found more magic and support from each other. Definitely when we saw anyone from the TriBE on the course, I felt so much love, encouragement, and PRIDE for you all that I could bust. And I could truly feel that love coming back at me too. The hugs and congratulations at the end of the course were genuine and warm. And I got comments from the friends and family of the group how much they could feel that too--they were so excited for every single one of us.
So then it didn't surprise me all that much that so many of you came to the celebration Happy Hour the next day. Many of you didn't know me--but we all wanted to celebrate our race together--to recount our stories and to lift each other up. But there were also introductions--now that we've shared this big journey together, who are you? how do you fit in here? you have how many kids? It was a glorious night of relative strangers being close friends.
The race--it was okay.
- The swim was 4 minutes shorter than I thought it would be and the water felt silky and delicious.
- The bike was easier than what I had imagined based on all the horror stories I'd heard. Oh, the power of high expectations and amazing gear changing. My time was slow and I was passed versus being the one to pass by a factor of 10:1, but I didn't care.
- The run was craptastic. That's where the lack of training showed up--my body just didn't have it in me--but I still was faster than my 5K pace from 2 years ago.
- The highlight came when I came in from the bike ride and heard my four church friends (who I had gotten into this) at the finish line over the loud speaker. Two crossed the finish line and the other two were speaking to the MC about it--I just left transition, ran over, gave hugs and ran back. It was the best use of a couple extra minutes in transition ever!
Thank you all for being part of this amazing TriBE!
You can read the complete text of this reflection at Christine’s blog, Project Christine 2.0 where she writes about triathlons, kids, and the rest of her life, already in progress. http://projectchristine2point0.blogspot.com/