It takes a Village.

As I looked back to see when my last blog entry was I realized it's been almost 3 months and that all of you must think that my life is ALL about racing and with no races, what else is there to write about? Well, contrary to that belief there is in fact more to life than racing. Crazy concept, I know. And while much of my days are still spent preparing for a race or thinking about a race, there is so much more.

Over the past 3 months my travels have taken me to Vail, Denver, San Antonio, Houston, Pensacola, Minnesota, Chula Vista, Tuscon, Vegas, New York, Colorado Springs, LA and of course Grand Rapids. It's an exhausting list but one that I can never complain about as I lead a blessed life. Between training and speaking and sponsor obligations I get to meet some pretty awesome people, represent some incredible companies and while it all takes me away from home, it makes coming back home that much better.

When I am at home, my days are mostly spent training and spending as much time with Dallas as I can. As the training ramps up, there is an increased need for recovery so there is anywhere from 3-6 hours a day spent on training and recovery combined. Recovery can be as simple as stretching but more often it's spent with recovery boots the hot/cold plunge a massage, a chiropractor or whatever it takes to keep me injury free. That is always the main goal.

After Worlds I made a coaching change, something that was difficult to do. Stacee has been my coach for 6 years and has gotten me through 4 World Championships, back in shape after having Dallas and has become part of our family. In every athlete's career there comes a point where a change is needed and for me, the change happened after Worlds. While Stacee will forever be part of our family, I feel fortunate to have found my current coaches of Jen Harrison and Liz Waterstraat. Both exceptional athletes and coaches who have coached many successful athletes. After working with them for many weeks now I know it is a good fit and I am excited to see how far we can go.

The big focus right now is CAMTRI triathlon on March 13th in Sarasota, FL at 1010am (but who's counting). This will be my last chance to earn a spot on the team for Rio. The way that things turned out last year we know that in my classification, 2 of us are able to earn a slot. Since one is taken by Hailey, there is one slot left and 2 of us vying for it. As I've mentioned before, there are always invite slots and best case scenario is that all 3 of us will be in Rio. But for now, March 13th is the focus and after that the focus will be turned to Rio. I get asked a lot how I manage juggling life as an elite lever athlete and a mom. I can tell you that the days are busy. They can be stressful but I am not in this alone. My coaches are part of the team that makes all this work. From Jen and Liz, to Jenni my massage therapist, Aaron my strength coach, our nanny Alyssa, my most supportive husband Brian who never complains when I have to go get my workout in and the super motivator Dallas. Not to mention some incredible sponsors that have taken me on as part of their team on the Road to Rio and I get to be associated with some amazing companies. Deloitte, USG, BP, Under Armour and of course Dare2tri are all part of my team and allow me to focus on being the best athlete I can be. They believe in me and in turn, it helps me believe in myself. Deloitte produced a video on each one of their athletes and I loved the way mine turned out. Everyone always says it takes a village to make something big happen and I feel like I have the best village around! You can see it here.

The biggest event since I last wrote is that our sweet boy turned 1! Yes, one. year. old. I can't freaking believe that a whole year has gone by already. I was warned it goes fast but seriously, can time slow down? Maybe just a little? We had a dinosaur themed party and much of our immediate family came into town. Dallas had his first real taste of sugar with his cake, he was showered with gifts and as much as we can tell, loved the day. In other news, he made it through his first Halloween as a giraffe. With Brian as an elephant and me as a monkey, we were quite the jungle family.

He really is the best thing about us. I just love him so much that my heart wants to burst multiple times a day.Everything from his constant smile, infectious laugh, the way he points at everything and wants to go touch it, the way he loves the pictures in our house, always wanting to give them a kiss, I just love this boy. He is taking his time walking.

When he took his first steps 3 months ago with the little walker I was convinced he was going to be walking the following week. 3 months later he takes an occasional 3-4 steps at a time but isn't cruising yet. Soon enough. Like Brian, he's a tall one, in the 95% in height >and the 58% in weight. Also like his dad, he seems to love carbs and meat the most when he gets in that highchair. Like father, like son.

Brian is as busy as ever at work. Changing lives one prosthetic leg at a time. It's really impressive how he can work so hard during the day and come home at night and be such a great dad and husband. His ability to work at work and be a family man at home is quite impressive. Have I said I'm a lucky girl?

And Jake. Oh Jake. Learning to tolerate his little brother, and occasionally show an small ounce of love. But really, he's in it for any food that drops off the highchair. He's still as ball obsessed and as lovely as ever. And as an official 8 year old dog, he once again promised me that he's living forever. So no worries there.

Since Thanksgiving has passed and Christmas is on it's way I want to say thanks to all of you for following my journey on the Road2Rio and all that comes with it. Not a day passes where I don't think about how lucky I am and what a great life this is. And of course, remembering our troops and the ones still serving as that allows us to keep doing the things we love. Take some time to be thankful and remember them this holiday season.

Until next time,

PEACE OUT!

 

 

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