Ironman Lanzarote

Holding Back or Moving Forward

Life…it can be over before you know it. As a child, I never wanted to grow up as fast as I could. I never looked forward to my birthdays; not my 13th, sweet 16, 18th or you can drink 21st. But I also never wanted to hold on to what was.
I don’t wish to live in the past, wishing to relive moments over and over again; even the best of times, I choose to cherish. I don’t think those moment would be as special if I could relive as much as I wanted. If you choose to live in the past, you never allow yourself to grow. If you don’t allow growth you might never experience the smells of sandalwood when you walk into a temple or feel the texture of an elephant’s skin or the taste of sitafal fruit or the hear sounds of communication around you in a language so foreign to you that can’t even understand a phrase as simple as thank you.
Every object in a state of uniform motion remains in that state of motion unless an external force is applied to it. ~Sir Isaac Newton put it best. I choose to be the object in motion. So many places I have traveled, people I have met, new things I have tried and a lot of hard decisions I have had to make this year in order to continue movement in my life and into the new year.
A few years ago, I was at a Buddhist Temple for morning service and when it came time for the dharma lesson, the teacher looked straight at me and said, “All things happen at the right time and for all the right reasons, even though you might think not.” (A defining moment in my life) and with that, I started to even appreciate the challenging times you wished you could flash forward and bypass. Life is a beautiful experience if you allow it to be; the good, the bad and the ugly. Staying present, in the moment and growing from all experiences is all part of staying in motion.
As I take a moment to cherish all the experiences and lessons I have learned throughout the past 365 days, I sum it up with; I have an incredible life. The life that awaits me over the next 366 is going to be so exciting…every moment of it! There are so many challenges ahead and I can only hope I learn as much next year and what I did this year.
So before I move forward, I take a moment to appreciate all the experiences I had this past year…From traveling to the Arab Emirates, Lanzarote and India by myself, to China for the World Championships and back to my Indiana roots and share with my fellow triathletes. I have traveled coast to coast across the US endless times and have flown over 100,000 miles this year throughout the world. 2011 has certainly been an amazing journey.


ROW 1: Riding back home in Indiana, Photo Shoot in Chicago, Riding the Pacific Coast Highway and Stopping at the beach in Miami to have a morning colada.


ROW 2: Ready to run the ING Miami Half Marathon, In from my first blizzard in Chicago, My very first mosque in Abu Dhabi, UAE, Finishing the Abu Dhabi Triathlon


ROW 3: Ironman Lanzarote, One of the Lanzarote course climbs from afar, My new twins.


ROW 4: New friends, Star Trac Coach, My first triathlon with a river swim.


Row 5: Pre-race dinner for Vineman with friends, Andy Potts running in the win and I am going out on my run in Vineman.

ROW 6: Barrel tasting in the Russian River Valley, first time in San Francisco, Working with Star Trac.


ROW 7: Photo shoot week of my 30th birthday, At bike drop-off for Vineman, Setting up campsite for Muncie 70.3.


ROW 8: Hanging out in Muncie with the girls, Dad and Halli joining me for a picnic, Ty making faces and making smores at our camp.


ROW 8: Best apple cider on earth, Taking the front of Muncie Triathlon, The Summer Palace in Beijing, China.


ROW 9: ITU Sprint World Championships, Great Wall of China, Finishing in the Rain at Worlds, and at Bigfoot Triathlon in Wisconsin.


ROW 10: Oldest Buddhist Temple in Tokyo, Japan, Running the Chicago Marathon, and the marathon view from my new home.

ROW 11: Bee sting in the eye the week before the Chicago Marathon, Riding my first Century ride, Ready for glow run!


ROW 12: My very first placing in a 5k, My wonderful run group njoy!, Spectating the New York Marathon, Running the Delhi Half Marathon


ROW 13: Wedding in Ahmedabad, Step Well in Adalaj, Jain Temple and hanging out at the house in India

Reflections of Lanzarote

One year ago I landed in Chicago from Paris to find that a volcano had erupted, closing down all airspace in Europe. A week later my flight to Germany was cancelled due to that eruption. This week I kept my eye again on another volcanic eruption as I flew from Madrid to London for the day, hoping my life would not be interrupted with nature’s attempt to disrupt. It makes this past week’s travels taking me to a place where you can see first hand where such type of destruction can create some of nature’s most beautiful masterpieces.
As I have spent all week in awe of what the different textures and colors of the island of Lanzarote. This trip was to my surprise less about culture and more of appreciating the beauty nature has to offer us. I have see colors of the ocean my eyes had never laid eyes on before during this adventure. I saw a desert of hardened lava rocks that traveled for kilometers with no sign of life. There were other parts of the island where the seeds of life had been planted to carry on the cycle of life. The small towns were built in fairness for everyone to have a view of this beautiful island.
This is a place where it is easy to holiday, but don’t except your trip to be action packed (unless you are doing and Ironman). You can relax and rest and take in the sun, scuba, sail, surf and take in more sun. With this being a large UK holiday spot, you find that most restaurants are tapas and Brit food. Rows of Irish and British pubs with constant football and F1 racing; so if you plan on coming to taking in the Spanish culture you need search hard and leave the tourist spots like La Santa and Puerto del Carmen and the small city of Arrecife. The small towns of San Bartalome and Ye give you that taste old world living where there are the local markets and the cheese is amazing and so is the bread; wine like you have never tasted before that is simple like a good European table wine, but complex with flavors that simply come from a type of soil of which I have never tasted wine from.
There is a unique feel to this place, unlike what I have seen before on other island get-aways; where the people who engage with you appear to be genuinely interested in you, where you come from and why you are here. There are no formalities here, and as each day passes you slowly become part of the island yourself. Sleeping with the door open to my balcony so I could hear the ocean waves, walking barefoot from my apartment to the beach for my morning swims and stops at the local bakery to have my fresh breads were all part of my daily rituals…and something I could easily get use to.
Oh, but the views! This is why you come to the island of Lanzarote, this is why you travel to the Canary Islands; to take in a small piece of what is almost uninterrupted by the rest of the world. It is a place where you can go to and spend time to yourself, just be with yourself and no one will step on your toes. For a moment in time you are allowed to stop and smell the flowers, take it all in and give thought to it and not feel rushed. Lanzarote is a place of simple, un-rushed.