It’s less than a week to Christmas, and before the festivities and *ahem* debauchery begins…(and by debauchery, you know I really mean, I’ll wake up at 8 am instead of 6, eat pasta on non race days, drink 1 maybe 2 glasses of wine, go to bed at past midnight, run ONLY twice a week, and go crazy on cake)…I thought I’d pen down some reflections from this year, and some wishful thoughts for next year.
This year was the year we truly became an Ironman couple! I know that for many of you, this might sound absurd that I take this so seriously that I count this as a significant milestone, but if you walked (or actually, swam, biked and ran) a week in my shoes, you’ll see how much of our world actually revolves around this admittedly crazy hobby. But it is kinda our thing so when Gary crossed the line at Gurye, Korea, and was pronounced an Ironman, I was extremely happy about that! Of course, I also managed to break many of my own personal records, which I am obviously stoked about too.
Aside from celebrating our first wedding anniversary, we had also made some other pretty significant married-couple-esque decisions like installing new cabinets and upgrading lights, pillows, and bed linens in our home. I had also worked a little harder on expanding my cheffing skills, and was quite pleased to be able to churn out some pretty mean home cooked dinners on a more regular basis. So, as a newly wedded wife, I would say I unlocked plenty of achievements!
On my career front, I think I could’ve worked a little harder to secure more deals, because I think I was pretty stagnant. But I guess I was just a little weak mentally, and chose, instead, to spend all my energy on my training. This is not good, and I think 2018 can be a lot better career-wise. Next year, I intend to beef up my resume a bit more, and plan my time better, so that I can fit everything in, work, play, and life.
On a personal level, 2017 wasn’t exactly a bed of roses. As expected, when training for the Ironman got too tough, and I lose sight of the other more important things in my life, I crumbled a couple of times in despair. I fought with Gary over the silliest things, and many times I wondered why I continued to pursue this. I still wonder! hahaha…but I know that deep down, I actually do enjoy this, as sadistic as it may seem. Because the moment the opportunity to race again arises, I’m all over it again.
As a woman, I sometimes feel like I judge myself too harshly. I feel like I have to meet expectations of so many others. To myself and the athletic community, I expect to be the best damn athlete I can be, pushing my limits every day, and achieving success after success. To family, I expect myself to be a good wife, a good daughter and God knows how much I really want to be a good mother as well. I fawn over pictures of my nephew and my friends’ children, gushing over their cute little videos. There were moments when I start to get on my bike for a hard training session, I feel a sense of emptiness. There were times I am sitting at home, and loneliness will slowly take over, and I would yearn to have a little bub of my own.
It was a pretty tough pill to swallow, when I made the decision to postpone my “retirement” from racing again. But the decision to hold off starting a family was something I made together with Gary, and I know that it is just another year. Plus, there is so much to be excited about next year, South Africa being one of them. And I am looking forward to it!
So, thank you 2017, for shaping our lives into something so amazing. I had a great year.
2018, I am taking you by the bull-horns and making sure you’ll be far greater than I can even imagine, and hopefully by end of September, I can finally move on to the next phase of my life. That’s a promise I am making to myself.