Not long before I got pregnant with my firstborn, I decided to do something that I wouldn’t ever have done on my own. Participate in a triathalon. I barely finished it.Now that I’m at the end of this 31 day writing challenge it reminded me of that day in my life somewhere near Sullivan, Illinois.
I had two good girlfriends from my small group that encouraged me to sign up and I promised myself I would train for it ahead of time here in Central Ohio. I had only recently moved and was still trying to find my way and make friends, so this connection back to home made things a little more consistent. But I had the wrong equipment ultimately. For some reason I thought I could just jump on a bike at my mom’s house that day and take it with me that day.
The swimming part was easy. I had smiled and stuck my tongue out at somebody’s camera as I jumped out of the pool in my Nike suit and my number marked on my upper arm. I had made my way through the cordoned off lanes and to our landing spot where that bike was sitting as well as a t-shirt I could easily slip on.
I hopped on the bike and headed out on the country highway with my friends, thinking how much I loved to ride a bike and that this part would be easy too. That couldn’t have been further from the truth. The wind was blowing hard, not behind me but into me. Going fifty feet was a struggle and the wheels on my moms’ bike were not working well. At one point, I cried. I had to get off my bike to walk, so worn by the wind and the wheels that weren’t working.
And you know what? My friends came back to get me, even though they were way ahead. It was one of the nicest things a friend could do in the face of a competition and worrying about themselves. They came back to get me.
The running part was going to be the worst for me. I’m not a runner, I’m a walker. And even in that moment, we would run a little and then walk. Run a little and then walk. And that was on me, not them. Roxie and Kendra could have finished that race a lot more quickly. But they wanted me to finish too.
When we finally crossed the finish line, we were the last ones. But we finished. My family was there with flowers and my brother-in-law had a “Wiener Crossing” sign that was inspired by Bentley, our only dog and dachshund at the time.
The point of all this is what, you may ask. In the midst of the most difficult physical moment for me, prior to giving birth, I was about to give up. I wasn’t going to finish what I started. I cried. I told myself it was impossible.
But friends made it possible. And these writing prompts over the past 31 days have made it possible for me to finish The Challenge.
I think it goes to show… just when you think you can’t… someone or something special reminds you that you can.