Little tiles making up the big picture

So, I did it. After months of wrestling with the idea, I finally registered for Ironman Texas.  My heart rate skyrockets every time I sign up for a race.  Sprint, Olympic, Half Marathon, it doesn't matter!  I nearly had a heart attack when I registered for Ironman 70.3 Texas a year ago.  I was scared of the distance and nervous about the time commitment.  But over this past year, I've learned a lot about myself.  I've learned that I'm way stronger mentally and physically than I ever could have imagined.  Most importantly, I've learned that our lives are like mosaics, made up of little tiles.  The pieces don't have to line up perfectly to make a masterpiece.  Not every workout is going to be a 10 and there will be days that real life gets in the way of training, but the pieces can still fit together and have a beautiful result.  I think that wisdom helped me feel comfortable with my decision to sign up for Ironman Texas.  I didn't feel any nerves or doubt.  I actually felt excited, which was a really surprising reaction.  I'd be lying if I said I haven't had some stomach dropping moments since then when I think about the race, but I know I have to put the total distance out of my head and focus on the daily workouts.

After I registered, I started thinking about charity fundraising.  In years past, as part of Mike's Ironman races, we chose to fundraise for some worthy charities, including March of Dimes, Share Our Strength and the USO.  We felt it was important to make the race more than about self.  It is my turn to carry on this tradition for the Oyler family.

Being an Iron Widow for a decade, I've had a front row seat to Ironman training.  I've gotten to see the pure joy that it can bring.  I've also seen the extreme myopia it can cause when you get so singularly focused on personal goals.  Don't get me wrong, I do have my own goals set for this race, and I am definitely not disparaging anyone chasing their own dream.  I just want my Ironman journey to be about community, engaging with others and offering a helping hand.  That's why I have decided to raise money for an organization dear to my heart.

Team RWB's mission is to enrich the lives of America’s veterans by connecting them to their community through physical and social activity. As a military wife and a proud American, I am profoundly grateful for every man and woman that has served this great country and know that this life of freedom I lead was paid for through their sacrifice.  Team RWB provides a community and relationships for our veterans, reservists and active duty members that are invaluable.  

Please join me in supporting this amazing organization.  As I have already paid for my race registration, any money you donate goes directly to Team RWB via the Ironman Foundation.  Thank you for any donations you make.  

For any current or former members of the Armed Forces that are looking to connect with others, I urge you to reach out to your local chapter of Team RWB.