The number 736 may not mean anything to you, but right now it means everything to me. 736 days ago I crossed the finish line in what was arguably one of the worst races of my life. I collapsed, ended up in emergency and started a long battle with adrenal fatigue, hormone fluctuations, depression, a stress fracture and other minor injuries. For the past 736 days I have been waiting for today, planning for today and chomping at the bit for today. You see, today I raced again, for the first time in 736 days.
Over the past 736 days, you would not believe the emotions that I have felt. I have had my lowest lows, but also some highs as I discovered new friendships, new passions, new limits and the power of the incredible support team I have around me. I never expected my comeback to take so long. I never expected it to be so painful and demoralizing. I never expected that I would be reduced to nothing, and then as soon as I thought things were turning around, to get knocked down another peg. At this time, I must thank everyone who has supported me over the past 736 days. You know who you are, and thank you. Those of you that told me I would never come back, and told me to give up the sport and get a real job…..you better hope you don’t race me!
The best part about today was that all the emotions came back that I loved. There was the joy of racing, the excitement and anxiety before the race. There was joking around with friends before the race and silent times for prayer, planning and contemplation of the pain to come. There was the pain, the uncertainty and the fear of failure. However, the most prominent emotion today was joy! I absolutely love this sport. I can’t believe that I’m finally getting back into it and thank God for my second chance. As I was racing today, my number one goal was to have fun and enjoy the experience, no matter what happened. Mission accomplished.
Today I raced with the number 736 written on my hand to remind me of the road I traveled to get to the start line. This is my journey and my motivation. It is not a path that I wish anyone else to have to travel, but it is my life and has made me who I am. Now, what does the next 736 have in store?