“Next time I’ll order a LYFT.” I said flatly as my UBER driver was loading my luggage while complaining about the traffic.
“Oh, no, no, I’m sorry.” He replied.
I was surprised that he heard me, (my soft, mumbly voice never carries without effort), but instead of embarrassed, I was livid, this was his job!? And this was not an ordinary Monday for me, so I kept my sarcastic rant rolling, “Well, guess what? You are part of the biggest day of my life. I am flying to Hawaii today to compete in the Ironman World Championships on Saturday.”
“Wow! Cool! Good for you!” He replied with what seemed like sincere excitement, but I knew he had no idea what I was talking about.
We bantered blissfully for the next two hours while inching down the 405 freeway from my house to LAX, (why he was annoyed), where I settled down and realized that he had no idea that it took me over a decade to order his services, that I wasn't going on vacation, but flying toward a gigantic dream come true, I was finally on my to the Utopia of triathlon, Kona, Hawaii.
We are knee deep into “Kona Week,” the Ironman World Championships is this Saturday, 10/12, aka, the Superbowl of triathlon. I was lucky enough to earn many memorable moments last year, but looking back, what strikes me as the proudest achievements I made during my stint on the island has nothing to do with the race itself, but rather that I wrote and published two blog posts during those eight days of magical madness.
The first post was written the following morning after a long day of travel that started with the exchange above with my less-than-enthused UBER driver, and ended with me frantically booking a hotel for the night, because the house I rented was invisible to the naked eye in the pitch black darkness of the Kona jungle. I will never forget the Ohana I felt from the folks at the Kona Seaside hotel when I called them from the side of the road trying to remain calm, when actually I was frustrated, a little scared, and still wet and sweaty from completing a swim and run earlier, (priorities), and then hearing on the opposite end of the line that they had a room for me. A million "Mahalo’s" will never be enough!
The second post I wrote was a full-blown race report that was written in the wee hours on the Tuesday after the race, when I was still stunned with physical and emotional pain, plus technical difficulties with Mailchimp, (the email platform I use), so I couldn’t send it as an email, but I posted it to my website, which meant it wasn’t perfect, but I still made the deadline!
If you tuned in the following week, you found out that moments after that post went up, the back tire on my mini-van blew out. Once again I had to call out for some kokua, (help), from my Hawaiian Ohana, and they came through splendidly in the form of an outgoing tow-truck driver, and a mellow LYFT driver, who both showed up just in time to whisk me and the rental van away to the airport.
I’d like to be in Kona right now.
Who wouldn’t? Hawaii is amazing! However, I am not sad that I am not racing this Saturday. The events of this year played out exactly how they were meant to, and even though I would’ve gone if I earned a spot, I didn’t, but I will be cheering my heart out on Saturday for everyone who did.
For example, please follow along and root for these terrific TeamSFQ Teammates of mine that are racing at the BIG dance:
CORTNEY HAILE 1693
MEGHAN GRANT 1965
PAMELA BATUNGBACAL 125
AMY HITE 1696
EMILY LANTER 1974
PATTI LAWRENCE 1066
JUSTINE BOLTON 322
Good luck, ladies!!
The song and video choice this week is Maroon 5’s brand new single, an exceptional and timely song called, Memories.