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I am an Iron Girl

Branson IronmanI completed the Branson Half Ironman Triathlon.  It was an exhilarating experience:  1.2 mile swim in Table Rock Lake, 56 mile bike in the Ozark Mountains, and 13.1 mile run through The Landing Promenade. 

The finish line was not the pinnacle.  The journey holds the significance for me…1200 miles and 13 ebooks in 16 weeks made the experience; the 70.3 miles was the celebration of it.  I am not the same person who began the journey, and I received everything I needed from that experience.  I did not leave anything along the path that I feel that I need to go back for. 

It was a blissful experience.  It is impossible to not be emotional at this kind of event.  This was an Awesomeness Fest – the participants, the spectators, the volunteers, and the official staff.  The amount of energy and hours of preparation for this one day event is immeasurable.  The purpose – to demonstrate the strength of the body, mind, and spirit. 

I received everything I asked for.  This journey was a very spiritual one for me.  My prayers were to create something greater than I was.  Going into this endeavor, the swim was my greatest challenge.  I had never swam a distance greater than 400 yards, had never swam in open water (not a lap pool), and had never worn a wetsuit.  I can be claustrophobic – so just putting on the full body neoprene was a challenge.  I knew I had to focus on the swim I wanted to experience – breathing, elongated arms, gentle rotation of the hips, minimal leg kicks.  And so it was…a peaceful swim.

The infamous rolling hills of Branson could easily be mistaken for the Rocky Mountains.  While I had no real idea what I would be up against, I knew it was going to be hilly.  I knew I would have to be in my low gear and just climb, keeping a pace below my lactic acid threshold whereby I could maintain it for 56 miles.  Again, I focused on this; it was as I experienced it. 

I immediately realized I neglected to ask for anything on the run.  I honestly thought “just get to the run and you’re done.”  And, I got exactly that…I got to the run and I was done.  I had nothing left to give or receive.  Wow, that is humbling. 

What we take for granted can be taken away in an instant.  The mind is so unbelievably powerful, that it communicates with the body our truest intentions.  I had neglected to make intentions past a peaceful swim and surviving the hills. 

I have no regrets.  It was an amazing experience.  I am proud of myself and treasure every moment of the journey.  So I ask myself, “Have I earned the title, am I an Iron Girl?” 

Iron is a metal in the 1st transition series, created during the change of an inner layer.  Iron is relatively soft until alloyed with other metals. 

Yes, I am an Iron Girl.  It is everything that was added along the way that made me a stronger person.  It is a true test of strength to start the journey, not knowing where it will lead and what will be discovered along the path. 

Living in the Flow and allowing it to happen is the process of human alchemy.

Patience ~Presence ~ Purpose,

Michelle

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