November. It’s the month of turkey, stuffing and pumpkin
pie everything. More importantly, it’s the month of gratitude. Unfortunately for me, it’s flying by so quickly that I’m not getting much of a chance to be grateful!
While running some errands during lunch yesterday, I started reflecting on the past couple of weeks and how truly extraordinary they’ve been. The month began by being asked to stay in The Tri Mafia for a second year. This team brought so many great people into my life. My Mafia brothers and sisters have been an amazing source of support and encouragement over this past year and I'm thrilled to continue being family with these guys! The day after that I found out, while scrolling through my Facebook news feed, that I was selected to be on Team Betty for Betty Designs. I was seriously in a daze after seeing my name on the announcement graphic.
A couple of days later, it was announced that I was selected to be on Team Coeur for Coeur Sports. Team Coeur and Team Betty are two of the most highly coveted women-only teams and securing a spot is extremely competitive, so being selected by both was such an honor. But my awe-inducing excitement was followed by the heartbreak of knowing I had to choose a team. The selfish part of me wants to be on both teams, but it would not only be a conflict representing two endurance apparel companies, it wouldn’t be fair to either team. For a team to be truly successful, each member needs to be fully engaged and committed to it. After much mental and emotional wrestling, I chose to move forward with Team Coeur. While it was a heart-wrenching decision to step back from Team Betty, I am connected with many of the Betties through social media and we still remain supportive of each other, which makes my heart sing!
Coeur Sports wasted no time and quickly created a private Facebook group for the team. I've only been a member for a week, but it's already a fun and enriching community. Kebby, Hailey and Andrea at Coeur Sports did a fantastic job assembling a team of incredible women. I'm really looking forward to getting to know them better and sharing our 2017 triathlon season together!
That first week ended with a visit from Steve and Jennifer for some fun at the Oilman Triathlon. Since Mike is taking a break from full-distance triathlons, this was his big race for the year. Mike didn't have high hopes for this race because he's been extremely busy at work and scraping by with bare minimum training. Add on to that, he's had some nagging shoulder pain making it difficult to swim. In spite of all that, Mike put together a fantastic race. He not only beat his goal time, he had fun. At many past races, even though he did well, I could sense Mike felt disappointed. Not this time! I could tell that he was genuinely happy with his race. The cherry to top, Mike was First Out of The Water in his age group!
On Monday, I checked my email and found out I was selected to be an ambassador for Tri Sirena Apparel. They are a new company and this is their inaugural team, so I am truly honored to be a Siren Luminary! Over the past 10 years, Mike has had numerous lesions removed from his face and body due to skin cancer, so Tri Sirena Apparel’s mission to provide high-quality, sun protective clothing is close to my heart. I've gotten to know the other Siren Luminaries over the past few days via the private Facebook group and I am so impressed by this collection of women.
World Prematurity Day reminds me of my biggest reason to be grateful. Maddie might not look it, but she was a preemie baby. She was born 8 weeks 2 days early, after my water broke 12 weeks early and she fought to stay in my tummy for an extra month to give her brain and lungs more time to mature. She let out a nice big cry when she was born, and the neonatalogist was hopeful that her lungs were fully developed. However, shortly after being transferred to the NICU, Maddie started struggling to breathe, so she was put on a ventilator. Typical Maddie, she ripped out her own intubation tube after 24 hours and the doctors took it as a sign she didn't need it any more. There were some setbacks during her 6 weeks 2 day stay at the NICU, but Maddie still came home before her original due date. We were extremely fortunate that Maddie was born without any defects and had no significant complications or long-lasting medical conditions. She was just in a rush to enter this world early, and hasn't slowed down since!
I’m a natural born pessimist and tend to view the world through gray-colored lenses. But, this past year has changed the chemistry in my brain. I no longer ruminate on things that didn’t turn out the way I wanted. I no longer feel “cursed.” Instead, I feel extremely blessed to have made so many new friends and been given so many new opportunities.