Last year, I went to an Ironman race where I cheered on a friend. Driving back to Nashville after the race, I couldn’t escape the thought of competing in a race of this magnitude. I started praying about it then in the car. I shared the dream with a handful of friends and my parents, and everyone encouraged me to pursue it. I started journaling the journey, and a year later, I took the first step to make the dream of completing an Ironman a reality. I hired a coach.
I competed in a sprint triathlon and though it was a horrible diabetes day, I enjoyed the race. I started reading about endurance athletes. I watched and cheered as a group of friends with type 1 diabetes competed in an Ironman in Wisconsin. I ran a half marathon. I ran another one. All the while, the wheels in my head were turning.
I started scouting half-Ironman locations, and I started asking lots of questions to friends who had competed. I researched triathlete coaches locally, but I couldn’t find what I was looking for in a coach. I talked to friends, and I did more research. I saw a name pop up in my threads repeatedly, and I did a little digging. Then I realized we were Facebook friends, so I sent him a random message. A few emails, questionnaires and a video call later, I hired Cliff Scherb as my coach—hopefully for the next two years.
I like this guy. I like what others have to say about him. I like his long list of credentials (including 19 Ironman competitions) and that he’s a type 1 athlete. I like his positive attitude, and I like that we share an optimistic, “glass half full” mentality. I especially like his outlook on diabetes and determination to work until he gets it right. I have a feeling this guy is going to change my life in an incredibly fun way—not only through training, but through diabetes management.
So here I am—an instant gratification, slightly unorganized, non-planner—setting a 2-year goal for herself that is anything but instant and one that requires detailed organization and excessive planning. In 2016, I will race in a 70.3 Ironman with the hope of competing in a full 140.6 Ironman in 2017.
My body is broken, but it’s through that brokenness that I have found the most purpose and hope. God promises goodness and promises all things work for our good and his glory. I’ve seen that be true of my diagnosis time and time again. It’s been my prayer from the start of this journey—to encourage and empower others with type 1 diabetes and to bring glory to his name. So here we go, the journey of a lifetime starts now… well technically, the journey starts in January, (because who wants to train through the holidays?)