Life is in the Details and Color Coded When Training for an Ironman
The longer I am married, living at The Edge of the World I realize that our family is not normal. I mean that in the most loving and positive way. First, being married almost seventeen years to Mr. W is a bit of an oddity in itself. We still really like each other after all these years. I still get excited seeing Mr. W walk through the door each evening when he comes home from work. I mean what lady doesn't like a good looking man in a uniform? Married to spouse in the fire service is difficult. The fire service has one of the highest divorce rate next to police and military families. Most spouses bad days don't consist of doing CPR on person and then consoling a wife who just lost her husband of 30+ years. Life and death are common dinner table conversations in our house as well as the dark/quirky humor that one is used to the fire service of 20+ years. Our family appreciates life because we all know first hand how quickly life can change. We hear it over the scanner every day.
When we decided to do this kid thing it was really important that one of us be at home with kids. Before we really thought that all the way through we had two babies in a year in a half. Since Mr. W was in the early years of his career it was me that got the role of stay-at-home parent. It was not always easy but looking back over the years I am thankful that I had the opportunity. Yes, I had to hit pause on some of my dreams and aspirations, but it's called being a parent. Life revolves around Mr. W's schedule. I've taken on the role of chief operations manager, taking care of the in house operations. I have to brag I am pretty damn awesome at it. Mr. W and I take pride that when he is home we are sitting around the table enjoying a home cooked meal. When Mr. W is off work or on vacation we like to leave The Edge of the World, where he can turn off his fire scanners. We we LOVE vacations! Mr. W works hard and we like to play hard too! I am really proud of husband. Mr. W works hard in a very stressful career. He has accomplished a lot in his career being as young as he is. I am thankful that he always acknowledges that I am one of main the reasons why.
I've enjoyed volunteering in my community at the girls' schools over the years and with Hospice at the local hospital. It's how I've made the majority of my friends and established roots in our community here at The Edge of the World in the 11 years that we've been here. As my daughters become older I realize that soon it will be just Mr. W and I. I am learning with teenagers that in some ways my girls need me even more now than when they were babies and toddlers. The teenager years are proving to be the most challenging. A screaming newborn seems like a walk in the park. I love seeing the glimpses the adults that they are becoming. They are the perfect blend of my husband and I.
Just when I am in the thick of raising young women, navigating the high school years, battling over screen time, dating and shuttling them all over I had the amazing opportunity to sign up for my first Ironman race. Just a year earlier I would have never thought that I'd be sitting here today mapping out 30 weeks of training. I accompanied my friends on their first Ironman last September. That amazing experience had me thinking, why not? I had read about all the Ironman races in the United States thanks to the brochure in their race packets, had my #1 race picked out before I ever boarded the plane back to Oregon. When my local triathlon club inquired if anyone was interested in early entry to Arizona I replied yes, as that was my #1 pick. When the actual email link to register arrived in my email inbox I remember being as surprised as when I found out I was pregnant with Vivian. I'll never forget registering for Arizona. My hands were sweaty and shaking.
In middle school I failed P.E. I wouldn't consider myself an athlete in high school. I did dance team and one season of cross country before getting stress fractures in both my knees. That was my first clue that I have a high tolerance of pain. I didn't start running again until I was in my mid-30s after a health scare. I find a majority of sports boring. The only reason I go to football gatherings is for the food. It's only because of Mr. W that I've learned to enjoy basketball. I prefer actual games so I can people watch. I really don't like to watch games on tv. I am not competitive at all. It's why I hate playing games. I really don't fit the mold of an Ironman athlete. I am not super fast. It's not my goal to win my age group or qualify for Kona. I am only competing against myself and to be able to eat whatever I want. Let's be honest I love bacon cheeseburgers.
Triathlon has changed my life. I am the healthiest I've ever been in my life. Swimming, biking and running are my happy place. It's how I burn off stress, anger and uncertainty that this stage of parenthood has brought to my life. I love training as I am working towards a goal. It's exercise with a serious sense of purpose. There is nothing more I love than the worn out, tired feeling after a long hard workout. It is my zen. I love that it's my thing. When I am at a race I am not Olivia and Vivian's mom. I am not Mr. W's [insert fire title]'s wife, I am just me, Mary. Bonus I can rock bikini in my 40s!