Dear Aaron, Ingrid, Ann, and Marissa,
I am at once sad and delighted to be writing this letter to you. The past two years you have been there for me, more than you could ever know. You have each ran or biked for me as part of team efforts in the sport of triathlon. Our relationship, as it has been, has been wonderful. I have experienced much joy and satisfaction with each of you. The camaraderie and friendly competition we have shared against our mutual friends has been delightful and invigorating. Life producing. Your place on the teams we have been on together has truly been an encouragement to me. Without each of you there along the way I would not have participated in 3 triathlons in 1 years time. Again, our relationship as it has been, as teammates, has been amazing!
I must tell you though, I have found another athlete to fill your shoes or pedals, as the case may be different for each of you. This athlete, I have realized I love a lot and really want to see her be able to excel at this sport of triathlon and with your feet on the pavement or shoes in the pedals, she cannot do that. You are standing in her way. So I must ask you to respect me and my decision, and step aside. I will be honest with you. The athlete that is replacing you is not as fast as you. She won’t be able to bike 12+ miles in less than an hour or run 3.1 miles in 30 minutes. With her on my team, we may for sure come in dead last with the finish line all packed up. But I do not care. I love this athlete! I want her to have a chance to do more than she ever thought possible!
I met this athlete out on the run course last Saturday at Girls Best Friend. I had talked about the possibility of doing all 3 legs myself next year, but never really thought I could do it. It was always an illusive thought. But out on that run course, I realized that within me, lives someone far stronger than I ever imagined. And as I crossed that finish line, I knew, I KNEW that next time I crossed a finish line, I wanted it to be because the girl I met out there, the strong one, did it all by herself. That the beep went off, the photo is taken, of a girl who is truly a triathlete!
I hope you will all understand and forgive me. It is not you, it is me! We can remain friends. And instead of being on the race team, I would love to have you as part of the support team. People to run, bike and swim with in training. Or if you like, I would love to have you there on race day running, swimming and biking right beside me…or ahead of me…I won’t ask you to go that slow. Or, if you are not up to it, you can always come and watch and cheer and remember back to the old days, when I barely thought I would make it out of the water alive and to the transition area.
I am sorry my friends and teammates. Our relationship must die, so that I can live. In the dying though, something new will develop between us and I am excited for that.
With great sadness and much anticipation for the future,