Monday, June 2, 2008

Feels good...

I have this 24hr rule. For anything in life that really bums me out I can not spend more than 24 hrs dwelling on it. Be sad, be human, cry if I need to for 24 hrs then MOVE on...

Post Hawaii 70.3 I did my bumming for 24 hrs-then moved on. Today was amazing though... I got an email from a local 18 year old girl (and friend I met from swimming with masters) who really helped me understand that not racing may have bummed me out but it saved her day...

I think if I had known I would have been a blessing to someone else that day I would not have been so wrapped up in myself...

Ariel Henbest and her dad at the finish of Hawaii 70.3

I first met Ariel around March of this year. She was 17, never had done a triathlon, and had her heart set on racing Ironman Hawaii this year. I knew who she was because our swim team is pretty much a giant family... but she swam at one side of the pool and me at the other.

I got to know her better through the 101 swim program. It is very small and pretty laid back. Turned out she would be racing Lavaman in April as her first triathlon. I remembered being in her spot. Wanting so bad to do a triathlon and looking up to the local triathletes. I looked up to James Cotter, Ingrid Rolles, Peter Hursty, Jen Nottage to name a few. They were my hero's in sport and I wanted to be like them. Never did I imagine one day I would be the one being looked up to by a young girl...

Knowing it was her first triathlon I made her this "good luck" card and put some encouragement in it and my favorite little thoughts... I guess it meant a lot to her because I found out she was reading it in transition at Lavaman prior to the start for motivation..

At Hawaii 70.3 I heard she had the card with her too. Hawaii 70.3 was only her second ever race! I so wanted to be there for her, for all my local buddies. I didn't think she would need me or even thought it would make a difference, but I figured I wasn't racing so I might as well focus my attention on others...

Ariel starting the bike...

Most of my early morning was spent at the start of the bike. I tried to cheer for every friend I had as they got off on the 56 mile bike journey. When I saw Ariel I had no clue what type of swim she had, I only knew that she could make it and would make it and I wanted her to know I believed in her... because I did. She reminds me so much of me. We are all heart. She wanted to get her Ironman slot bad, I could tell, and anyone that wants their Ironman spot but had never even done a triathlon before setting that goal is just living by the dreams in their heart.

Today when I got Ariel's email I lost that last tiny piece of being bummed about not racing. All of a sudden it didn't matter much that I wasn't out there. Here is a piece of her email...

"After my swim i was really upset because of how bad it was but seeing you at the transition calmed me down and hearing you speak just really made me happy. thank you for talking me through the steps. i would have been a mess if someone wasn't there talking through it the way you did."

It feels so so good to know that not racing may have helped save her race. Ariel DID qualify for Ironman! She just turned 18 and will be our youngest Ironman! If you see a long blond haired local Kona girl be sure to share some encouragement... it will only be her 3rd race... and she is doing it all by following her heart!

Nothing like being in the right spot at the right time for the right reason for the right person...


Blogger Bruce Stewart (施樸樂) said...

The great thing about triathlons is that we can all be on both sides of the fence. We can have a go ourselves and try to beat everyone we can, but we can also be an encourager of others who are trying to beat everyone, too. In that way we pay attention to ourselves but also to others. When are you going to start coaching the next champions?

June 2, 2008 at 10:44 PM

Blogger alison said...

That is so great!!!! It's worth missing a race to have such a positive effect on someone else's life. And you'll have so many more races to race for should be proud for making the right decision (with a little push from your coach ;-)

June 2, 2008 at 10:47 PM

Blogger Beth said...

Funny how God works 'eh? :)

And rest assured Bree, you can bet that Ariel isn't the only one that looks up to you!! And for good reason!!

Have a great day!

June 2, 2008 at 11:04 PM

Blogger Maijaleena said...

What a great story!

It's a great feeling knowing that you have inspired and helped someone along in their triathlon journey.

You inspire me and many others every day!

And awesome job to Ariel!

June 2, 2008 at 11:18 PM

Blogger TATI said...

bree, you made my day with this post! that's awesome...i don't know ariel but please tell her that i wish her my best for her IM training and race day :)
i know how elated she feels about qualifying for kona, especially at 18.
that's so cool you were such an insipration to her. heading into my qualifier and then onto IM i had my own idols/inspirational people and only through them could i get all of the training accomplished and have a great race.
go ariel!

June 3, 2008 at 1:41 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yep...this is what "full circle" means...and that you had a bad thing (getting sick/not racing Honu) but there is always a silver lining and ARIEL is one of them!! Good for her and you! Jen H. :)

June 3, 2008 at 2:59 AM

Blogger Mel said...

I am OLD, but I look up to you on so many reasons, can you come to my race this weekend and be my motivater :) he he!! That is great how one little thing can touch someone's life!! Your awesome Bree and good luck to Ariel:)

June 3, 2008 at 3:01 AM

Blogger Pam said...

What a great story! thanks for sharing that.

June 3, 2008 at 3:41 AM

Blogger TriGirl Kate O said...

You are such an inspiration to many. Congratulations Ariel on winning a Kona slot; through Bree we all send our best wishes and luck!

June 3, 2008 at 3:42 AM

Blogger Andrea said...

You inspire so many people Bree. People you don't know and will likely never meet.

People who religiously read your blog EVERYDAY and are in awe of the life you live, the people you train with, the places you race - and you do it all with a smile on your face (at least it comes across that way in the photos).

Your quote "the body achieves what the mind believes" is etched in my brain and I will carry that with me to my first 70.3, in two weeks.

Thank you!

June 3, 2008 at 3:56 AM

Blogger TB said...

You just never know who is watching...what a blessing to see a small piece of the big picture...

June 3, 2008 at 3:58 AM

Anonymous MW said...

I fully agree with whoever said that Ariel wasn't the only one looking up to you.

I'm a Hawaii girl living in the Northeast these days, and I came across your blog a while back. I've been back here just about everyday to be inspired by what you're doing, and by the incredibly positive way you take on your challenges. You make me WANT to get out and do more, BE more. Rather than just lurking and reading, I figured I'd actually commment and let you know- so...big Mahalos from Maine!!

June 3, 2008 at 3:59 AM

Blogger Trigirlpink said...

Love it, LOVE IT LoVe It!!!!!
See.. god had other plans for you! You were needed as a guardian angel instead of a fierce competitor for ONE DAY!

June 3, 2008 at 4:12 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said... reading your blog and felt compelled to comment too. My daughter has a dream to do "Boston" and one week before her Boston qualifier she developed a stress fracture in her pelvis. She is temporarily sidelined and the healing is on schedule. Her dream has been put on hold for a year but she is now, like you, encouraging others in the sport and seeing it all from a different perspective. Best of wishes for a great race in Japan!

June 3, 2008 at 4:14 AM

Blogger jahowie said...

That is great that you were there to help her through it!! Congrats to her!! There is usually a reason for everything and this was a great reason for you not to race that day. :-)

June 3, 2008 at 4:22 AM

Blogger Tri*22 said...

Wow! I just had to comment. Such an awesome story!! This is my first year in the sport and I am always looking for inspiration/motivation and just reading that is sooo inspiring. To me, it IS all about following your heart. Your blog is great, and as stated in an earlier comment, there are many that look up to you. Thanks for the inspiring blog :)

June 3, 2008 at 4:29 AM

Blogger Ange said...

Sounds like all that happened for a reason. Amazing. You have made a difference in this girl's life...what a gift.

June 3, 2008 at 5:31 AM

Blogger triguyjt said...

Bree... you continue to inspire, even if you are not aware of it.
Keep it up !!!

You are training-racing and living with a purpose!!!

Now, Ariel will turn around at later races and help someone...

its goes on and on...

June 3, 2008 at 5:34 AM

Blogger Stef said...

This made me tear up just a little. Things seem to happen for a "reason." What a great gift to give to someone -- sometimes when you don't even know (until later) that you are doing it.

June 3, 2008 at 5:36 AM

Blogger Shan said...

Agreed with the others - I'm *constantly* inspired by you!!! :)

I find that it's so so so important to support the athletes around us - young and old. I've spent a few races on the sidelines due to injury or sickness, and have had the *best* time cheering people on (especially seeing someone smile when they realize you are cheering for THEM!). Just this weekend, I paced a friend for San Diego Rock and Roll marathon who was really hurting towards the end and wanted to give up, and admitted that she probably would have walked if I hadn't been there to pace her. It feels really great to know you can be there for someone else, to motivate and to help people see through to their goals. Especially in triathlon - I feel like it can sometimes be a selfish sport - we are always spending so much time making *ourselves* better, faster, stronger, but when we give back and support our friends and teammates, it makes it all the more worthwhile.

Cheers to you! I like your "24-hour" rule - I'm going to use that in the future :)

June 3, 2008 at 6:37 AM

Blogger Curly Su said...

the 24 hour rule is great - and good for you for being able to enact it!

June 3, 2008 at 8:31 AM

Blogger Benson said...

That is wonderful!
You have strengths beyond competition and Ariel is stronger now because of you.
Keep passing it on.

June 3, 2008 at 8:32 AM

Blogger Pedergraham said...

Way cool! Keep us posted on her progress as she preps for Kona.

June 3, 2008 at 9:47 AM

Blogger Lisa G said...

Great post! You are definitely an inspiration to everyone.

June 3, 2008 at 10:35 AM

Blogger Ashley said...

I just got chills - Mahalo!

June 3, 2008 at 10:36 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...


She is not the only one that you motivate. I was getting really burned out on training this past winter when I happened upon your blog. Reading your blog reminds me daily of what is so cool about training and tris. Your love for the sport and incredible attitude is so infectious. Thank you!

June 3, 2008 at 10:41 AM

Blogger Patrick said...

Bree, YOU inspire me!

June 3, 2008 at 1:04 PM

Blogger beth said...

that is really awesome. she is so lucky to have such a great role model...good luck preparing for japan..and i'm impressed at you making tough short term decisions for the benefit of the long run...that is TOUGH..

June 3, 2008 at 4:55 PM

Blogger Mominator said...

What an amazing story Bree!

June 4, 2008 at 1:09 AM

Blogger Jen in Budapest said...

Beth's right. She's not the only one. That's so great that you were able to see why and see the "win" in the midst of something that didn't feel that great at the moment.

June 4, 2008 at 9:19 AM

Blogger Sarah said...

Bree...coming to your blog always puts such a lift in my day. I LOVE that whole 24 hour rule. Such a good thing to live by. Life's too short to spend it being bummed out.

I'm sure that your inspiration for Ariel is but one of SO many people you've inspired. It's only going to grow.

What a fantastic story! I love it!

June 4, 2008 at 1:24 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

That is great. I read your blog all the time. It was great that she qualified, way to to!

June 6, 2008 at 12:36 PM

Anonymous mike said...

Wow, I have 2 local heroes now!

Great post Bree, Congrats Ariel!


June 11, 2008 at 5:24 PM


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