29 June 2008 By Rachel’s

Sitting on the Fence

Before I start, Canyon’s first motorcycle ride = very happy boy. Yes that is one of my bicycle helmets and yes I do have to adjust it larger when Canyon uses it! Part of mommy having a tiny head and Canyon getting his dad’s huge head!
I seem so often to feel as though I am stuck in the middle. I was the middle child of seven kids. I was too ‘old’ to do what my younger siblings were doing and too ‘young’ to hang with my older siblings. This was a blessing and a curse I suppose. On one hand, I often felt lonely and as though I didn’t fit in to what was going on. But, on the other hand, I spent a lot of time by myself and found out what moves me and makes me shine. This is how I discovered my love of running and cycling and healthy eating (the way I like it) among numerous other things.

Besides being the middle child, there are many other times I have found myself in what appears to be stuck in the middle. Triathlons feel that way for me right now. I have been blessed in the short 2 and a half years I have been racing them, to rise quickly to the top of the age-group level. I excel there and love it that I can hit podium or win a very high percentage of the races I enter. So that leads to my frustration. I am qualified for a pro card, but I can’t go pro (in my opinion) until I learn how to swim faster. In big races, that would put me as a mid pack pro and I am afraid I would be too frustrated.

Yesterday I raced the pro field at the Dino tri in Vernal. I had the choice of age group which I would have won first overall and won $1,000 which I could definitely use right now. Instead, giving in to Art and a few others accusing me of being a sand bagger, I raced in the Pro field. My swim was 10 minutes slower than the winner. My finishing time was 10 minutes slower than the winner. I have a good bike and a wicked run (even when as yesterday happened, I was sick and ended up throwing up half a dozen times during the race–ugh!). Yep still had a good run. Could have been faster without that, but at least I kept going. So the result, I ended up third and won $750. Frustrating! I swim and swim and feel as though I am getting no where. I need help! I have been through 5 coaches. This has mostly just left me confused.—Short side note: I am soooo happy to have won the prize money and I very thankful for Drew (the race promoter) and his family and friends for putting on such a great race and for making the trip to Vernal well worth it!
Only Picture I have so far of my tri this last weekend. Red Fleet State Park is where we swam.
So all this venting, what does it mean? I am sitting on the fence as I often have in my life. I’m looking to one side and then the other. Which side should I jump off to? Well, last week, taking out the swim, I won my off-road duathlon full out. Add in the swim? I feel as though unless I get the swim down, I either need to start racing straight trail runs (I do some, but I would miss the bike way too much), or perhaps I should start racing more mountain bike races. They sure are fun. Or find out if there is a good off-road duathlon series? Man there are so many choices! Lucky I’m pretty good at them all, yes? But, I can’t figure out what I love the most! Or where I have the been opportunities? I don’t like being too fast for amateur and not quite there for pro. I know I have the pro level inside me, but it just hasn’t quite come out. I am either going to kill myself off learning how to swim better, or perhaps this is again life telling me I need a slight directional change to one of the above? I suppose until I get brave and make a jump, I’ll keep sitting on the fence….

By the way, my roomie Ohran (who by the way is racing with Sager, Tinker, Bart, Sue, Mitchell and the gang in the BC 7 right now. I came through again and hooked me up with his friends Troy and Nan in Vernal who own Altitude Cycles. They gave me a place to stay while I was in town. Two very cool very real people. I am so lucky to have people in my life who take such good care of me. Thanks guys so very much for treating me like family while I was there. I appreciate you so much!
This is actually a picture I just had to take at the BAM tri last week. It is my awesome cycling friend Jen Ward whom is transitioning into the tri world. I just loved the bikes, her cute dog with it’s head reaching joyfully out the window, and two happy athletes sitting inside getting ready for a fantastic weekend!

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I will always remember waking up at the age of 12 to the pain I saw in so many while simultaneously realizing how lucky I was to feel fantastic.

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