Honu Envy. Ironman 70.3 in Kona. Yesterday.

This morning I woke and confessed to John my Honu envy. My Try Fitness teammates, and some of the women whom I admire in Hawaii’s triathlon community, participated in yesterday’s half Ironman event in Kona. To me they all look like they are mermaids in the water, wonder women on bicycles, tireless runners on foot. They make it all look easy. They do.

After I swam nearly a mile at Queen’s Beach, where I’ll be swimming in the Tinman next month and the Na Wahine in September, I took it easy while Charlotte enjoyed observing wild sea creatures.

I know when I’m out there running or riding or swimming, the last thing I want is someone to think I am suffering, so I pump up that grimace into a smile. I stroke a little faster in the ocean. So if my friends want to make it all look easy while they are suffering, I refuse to think anything else. If they’re selling it, I’m buying it.

I know whenever I’m in a run, I’m looking forward to its end. I can’t stand being in the Century bicycle rides. A lot of the other riders frustrate me with their obliviousness. And when I was in the Lanikai Triathlon, I almost let myself drown because I was overwhelmed by my pounding heart and by my fear. I’ve declared 2012 the year I Kick My Own Butt, because it’s also the year where I make myself face my fears, deal with them, and come out better in the end. I don’t want to just be a better athlete, but I want to be a better woman, a better wife, a better mom, even a better employee.

I can tell it is working, but I’m only half-way through the year. I also want this adventure to help me build and nurture friendships. I want to build life-long friendships. There are people I want to get to know, there are people I want to get to know better, I want to share experiences with others, I want to build trust and I want to be trusted. Sometimes it feels like I’m all alone, even in a room full of people. When I get the attagirls while running along Kealaolu or riding up Kamiloiki, when my Try Fitness teammates give me a shout out when I’m cresting Kahala Avenue, it reveals to me hidden energy reserves that only a soul connection can tap.

This quest to be the best I can be is not a selfish act. Do you know what I mean?

I also see how much fun people have when they sign up to suffer together. I think to myself how I’d like to be in on all that. So I wake up early and go for a bike ride, I join others after work for a workout at the pool or in the ocean, I ask my husband to join me when I go out and try to run my sorry ass all over East Oahu. I’m building my case for worthiness.

By lavagal

Hawaii Kai wife and mom. Melanoma Stage 3a Cancer survivor. English Language Arts teacher, English Learners Coordinator, and Paraprofessional Tutor. Super sub teacher. Dormant triathlete. Road cyclist and Masters swimmer. Gardener. Mrs. Fixit. Random dancer. Music Curator. A teenager trapped in an aging body. Did you know 60 is the new 40? It is.


  1. A half ironman? That sounds like a whole lot of ow. Good luck with that! 😉

  2. From my friend Janet @writeonrideon


    You ARE worthy, even without all the great cycling, swimming, running,
    With it, you are definitely already badd-a**, girl!!!
    And I could relate so much to what you wrote.
    My first triathlon was quite an experience and for me, it was about
    finishing and facing fears and leaving them far behind — especially in
    the cold, windy, deep, dark lake where I almost didn’t make it across. But
    I did make it and I finished and it was amazing.
    You are an inspiration. So don’t ever forget that!!!
    And thanks to twitter, you have a worldwide cheering section. So please
    know we’re cheering for you on the Mainland and beyond!!!
    Keep the faith and never, ever, EVER give up!!! I KNOW you can do it!!
    And thanks for sharing your great writing with us, too!

  3. I’m on the BI now and saw the conditions for
    The event you r referring to and they were brutal. One participant I spoke with said there has never been such a strong headwind for the bike and swim. You probably have heard this already. But maybe doing it a other time
    Was a blessing in disguise.

  4. Sorry start again. Conditions were really rough. Very strong headwind for bike and very choppy for swim. I spoke to a participant He said officials said it was worst in years. Maybe next time is a blessing. :).

  5. forget the mermaids, the wonder women and the fleet of foot females. dragging comparisons around is a weight nobody needs. measuring up to a standard someone else has reached is good exercise – in futility. let all of that go. get down to the zen of it. be amazed at what you are, not what you wish you could become. (insert appropriate Stuart Smalley daily affirmation here)

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