I have never liked being classified as any one thing. I don”t want to be known for a single attribute or accomplishment. I don”t want anyone to think that they truly know me or understand me for any singular action. I realize that my multisport training and racing allows me to embrace this multi dimensional aspect of my identity. Clearly there is more than one sport but there are also a million ways to embrace different aspects of yourself in your training and racing.
I am strong. I raced for 14 hours to complete my Ironman, finding an inner strength that even I didn”t know existed until then.
I am feminine. I rock a pink bike that screams I AM A GIRL as I ride on by.
I am self sufficient. I can map a route, make a plan, change a tire and release a cramp. I can keep myself going.
But those are easy.
I also appreciate the time I am alone on a trail, embracing the outdoors, being reflective.
On a ride last week before our first heat wave, I was biking on a trail that has a few passes closed in by rocks on either side — the kind of area that stays deliciously cool amid the rising summer heat. And instantly I thought of this excerpt from the CS Lewis poem “On Being Human”:
“But never an angel knows the knife-edged severanceOf sun from shadow where the trees begin,The blessed cool at every pore caressing us-An angel has no skin.
They see the Form of Air; but mortals breathing itDrink the whole summer down into the breast.The lavish pinks, the field new-mown, the ravishingSea-smells, the wood-fire smoke that whispers Rest.The tremor on the rippled pool of memoryThat from each smell in widening circles goes,The pleasure and the pang –can angels measure it?
An angel has no nose.”
And I rejoice a little more for my ride and the air and the ability to feel the intent of such words and the unlikely place I find the comfort of poetry.
And I am thankful for the complexity that is me, the complexity that is triathlon and the abilty to merge the two together.