Monday, April 13, 2009

The Hawaiian Fire Dancer...

As soon as I found out I was headed for a divorce I ran immediately to the book store. Since college my face has been buried in books. Books seem to have ways of helping me in just about every area of my life. The book store only had lousy divorce books. Ones about hating men, husband bashing, how to fight for your womanly rights, how to win his money, things like that, things I wanted nothing to do with because I was determined to stay friends with the father of my son. I was in search of something happy. Maybe a real life book written by a real life woman who made it through her divorce in one piece and is still living happily ever after. I wanted to read about her day-to-day experiences of picking up the pieces and starting over. That book was not in the book store. Maybe it was never even written. So I decided last year, when I found out I was soon to be a divorced woman that I would write my story. The hard parts, the good parts, just living through it.

Friday was one of the pages in my book. Lots of pages have been written but this page has made me laugh for about 4 days now. In fact my sister and her boyfriend still tease me about it and my coach even laughed. I'm moving on, picking up pieces, and here is one of the pages...

April 10. 2009

The Hawaiian Fire Dancer…

It was one of those perfect mornings. The kind where you wake up and feel completely content, as if everything in the universe is how it should be. Nothing too exciting yet nothing challenging on the horizon, just a good day about to be lived. The plan was to meet a few local swim buddies for an open water swim. It was raining and the ocean looked a lot like the spin cycle of a washing machine. Walking to the pier a wave roared over the sea wall and dumped buckets of water on me. A passing car drove by at the same moment, we made eye contact, he laughed and I laughed. Part of me smiled because I was finding the ability to make eye contact with a man again and the other part laughed because the eye contact was through salt water dripping down my face. Nonetheless it was a step in the healing process.

The swim was choppy and adventurous. It felt a lot like my life at this point. So much happening here and there and it was all new. If you’ve ever seen a drowned rat you would recognize me after the swim. My hair was in knots, my face was windblown and covered in salt, yet there was a smile that shined through. Walking across the street to my condos I noticed a huge white pickup truck. The man in the truck noticed me and smiled. I could not help but smile back. Something about him made me smile, maybe it was because he looked so happy on a rainy morning, as if to say life is still good on gray days. I could relate, life is still good even in the darker days of my life. Today was definitely another day closer to having all the pieces of my divorce picked up…

Back to the big white pickup truck. I walked into my parking lot, the truck drove into my parking lot. We smiled some more, it was contagious. I kept on walking in the direction of my condo assuming he lived in the complex too and was parking. I hear someone calling to me, “hello, hello, good morning”. I turn back and discover the man in the white truck was calling to me. I walk closer but keep my distance. Eye contact and smiling was good enough for today, actually socializing can wait, I’m in no rush. After exchanging good mornings and hellos it was exchanging names. From there it was the basics, like the fact he is a Hawaiian fire dancer, those men always intrigued me. To toss fire in the air dressed in old school Hawaiian clothing (or lack of clothes), and dance around chanting in Hawaiian was sort of fun. By the time I said triathlon for my career my head filled with all the reasons Jim didn’t like me. The traveling, the 1,000’s of shoes, the early wake up calls and 8:00 bed times, the bonking and grouchy habits when I wanted to eat after a 6hr ride, I decided not to talk about my job.

Triathlon had nothing to do with the divorce but it was one thing he hated about me. I needed to move on from that. So I told my new friend about Ironman, he already was fascinated by it, living in Kona you know about that race even if you don’t want to. By this time salt water was pouring out of my nose and I was shivering on the cold Kona morning. My hair still in knots, hanging in my face, and my towel dragging on the ground, he smiles again as if he doesn’t even notice I was just in the ocean fighting the waves. I don’t notice either, he makes me forget. Then he tells me I am beautiful and I laugh. It felt like a line from a movie. Most of my friends are guys and one thing I have learned is that in real life, men don’t just walk up to women and tell them they are beautiful. (Unless of course it’s at a bar, I’ll stop with that). I laugh more, now the giggles are pouring out. He starts to laugh then asks if I have a boyfriend. Now I really feel like I am in a movie with cheesy pick up lines.

My head is now trying to unscramble a million thoughts. Like how do I date again, do I even want to date again, what about my love story in Costa Rica, do divorced women date again, what about Kainoa? At least a million things are floating in my head within that brief moment. This morning was no time to unscramble it all, there is no rush, and I was just happy to know I am walking boldly in the direction of moving on. I walk closer to him with the thought to tell him that I don’t have a boyfriend but the rest he didn’t need to know. As soon as I get within reach he asks for my number and now the smile on the inside is busting outside. To me, all it meant was that perhaps just because love was lost doesn’t mean it will remain un-found. Today was not the day to move on but it was the day that gave me confidence to know I will.

I walked away, turned back to find him watching me walk away. I never did give him my number. I’m not sure if I should have given it to him or what the big deal was if he had it, it’s just a number. Maybe I’m on the Ironman dating plan, there is no rush for things to unfold and progress was made this morning, that was good enough. Of course I would be lying if I said I forgot about the big white pickup truck after that meeting. As my sister’s boyfriend told me, “Bree, you’ll be lucky to see him again, everyone in Kona drives a big white pickup”. That’s partly true, but not everyone in Kona is a Hawaiian fire dancer dressed in hardly any clothes.



Blogger Teresa said...


Your beautiful and so is your story. I love that you are writing your book and will continue to help others.

I got a laugh out of it too :)


April 13, 2009 at 7:27 PM

Blogger Karen said...

I love that page, and can't wait for the whole book.

April 13, 2009 at 7:31 PM

Blogger D said...

I can't wait for your book too! It's going to be a great read for anyone and everyone.

Love ya! :)

April 13, 2009 at 7:38 PM

Blogger MandyB said...

Chin up, girl. You most definitely are beautiful and it's great that you share such a personal side of yourself here.

Divorces and break-ups are brutal - I left a man after 6 years together, houses bought, plans made, and it was the best decision of my life so far. Love found me when I least expected it and this time, it's right.

You are smart to do the things you love and spend time with those you love...the right guy will come along and will if not love, at least appreciate the good, the bad and the unique about you.

Sending good karma your way!!!

April 13, 2009 at 7:43 PM

Blogger ADC said...

A lovely story Bree - you should definitely publish a book - you write beautifully.

April 13, 2009 at 10:43 PM

Blogger Missy said...

I love that chapter/excerpt! It's beautiful.

April 14, 2009 at 1:19 AM

Blogger Train-This said...


April 14, 2009 at 2:31 AM

Blogger IronBob (swimming upstream at IMAZ 08) said...

Since I am Grandfather Time, I will be the first guy to chime in. I knew you had a writing career ahead, great story.

As for your sister's boyfriend, he needs a lesson in romance and also needs to be less macho and get a grip on his "feminine side". (Tell him IronBob said so). The guy in the white truck will be around if it is meant to be. In fact, when he does come around again, I would continue to flirt and not give out your number one more time. Isn't that what they do in the movies?

April 14, 2009 at 2:48 AM

Blogger Mel said...

Love it Bree...and I need you to hurry up and FINISH that book...I need a good read like that:))
Stay single and have FUN and if love comes your way then you will know what to do!!
I look up to you BIG TIME(even tho I am older:(
xoxo miss ya

April 14, 2009 at 3:22 AM

Blogger Natalie said...

I can't wait for your book to come out, Bree! What you wrote there was so honest and raw...I felt like I was transported into your shoes for a brief moment. You have your second career!

And when it's right, it will happen. I'm curious about the CR love affair. I think I can guess about it though...I think.

April 14, 2009 at 3:26 AM

Blogger TriSaraTops said...

I continue to be amazed by your strength.

Thank you for sharing!

April 14, 2009 at 3:34 AM

Blogger Beth said...

Bree!! I love it! I suspect that your book will be a SMASHING success because it's something that needs to be written AND you write so beautifully! Thanks for sharing. I hope you continue to heal each day. Looks like you are moving in the right direction. :)

April 14, 2009 at 3:43 AM

Blogger Kim said...

Bree that was so touching and fun and just so you! I loved it! I think it is a great idea to write that book..many stories to tell and many people that you could help. Thank you for sharing.. that really made me smile and warmed my heart!

April 14, 2009 at 3:46 AM

Blogger Bob Mitera said...

It is a great idea to write a story about the positives you are trying to accomplish.

I don't need/want to know any details, but take this as one guy speaking his mind.

Not all men look at things in the way you described. I support my wife as she (like you) has a demanding job. I do the grocery shopping, cooking and much of the cleaning around here. As I'm in "management" (when not RIF'd) I don't work as much as Lorrie - only 45 to 70 hours/week. My wife pulls 50 to 80 a week regularly.

There are guys out there who would support you.

Hang in there kid. The glow comes from within first.


April 14, 2009 at 4:23 AM

Blogger Slow Rider said...

Beautiful, inspirational, smart, fit and sounds like a great mom. You will have no worries getting back in the game.
stumbled upon your blog, love it. My first 70.3 is 3 weeks away.

April 14, 2009 at 4:44 AM

Blogger Saphi said...

That's a great story! If you're still looking for books, I think Kristin Armstrong (Lance's ex-wife) has a couple of great ones. As always, thanks for your lovely words. I love your positive energy.

April 14, 2009 at 6:26 AM

Blogger Laura said...

Bree - a book! Awesome! Can't wait!! Is there anything this girl can't do?!?! :)

Just FYI on books by divorced women, I think Kristen Armstrong (Lance's ex-wife) wrote a devotional through her first year being divorced, if you might want to check that out. No idea if it's good or not, but thought I'd pass it along.

April 14, 2009 at 7:33 AM

Blogger Kona Shelley said...

I read Kristin Armstrong's book everyday, it is helping deal with my divorce and getting me through each day. It's called "Strength for the Climb".
Best wishes to you and your son!

April 14, 2009 at 9:01 AM

Blogger Trigirlpink said...

ohhhhhh! Very nice Bree... next chapter please!!!!

April 14, 2009 at 9:13 AM

Blogger Robin Parisi said...

Careful Bree, the only Fire Dancer I've met was a former one - he had to change his profession to electrician so that he could support his five kids, each with a different mother!

April 14, 2009 at 10:49 AM

Blogger BicycleG said...

I follow your blog but have never commented. Felt compelled to say I appreciate your postings. You never know when something you say (or write in this case) will shine light in someone else's life. I often find bright spots in reading your blog.

April 14, 2009 at 11:00 AM

Blogger Charisa said...

Healing is good. And you are beautiful!

April 14, 2009 at 11:25 AM

Blogger allyson said...

First page is great. The whole book will help women all over. Your honesty is is very refreshing

April 14, 2009 at 1:51 PM

Blogger CoachLiz said...

Good on ya for accepting the compliment because you really do deserve it! It is hard to imagine as a mother that guys can find mom's cute and sexy. It is also hard for female athletes to imagine that the dudes we train with might find us cute and sexy.

It is your confidence that makes you cute and sexy Bree. That and I am sure that you can be a big goof ball and laugh at yourself. Guys find that cute and sexy.

Here's to CUTE and SEXY Tri Moms!!!

April 14, 2009 at 2:41 PM

Blogger Jamie said...

Great story Bree. I think you should name your book "The Ironman Dating Plan."

You are such an inspiration. I love that you are so open about sharing your story, even when times are tough.

And when the time comes to give out your number again, don't be afraid to let them know about Kainoa. He is pretty damn adorable. It is hard to be scared off by such a cute kid.

April 14, 2009 at 2:54 PM

Blogger Kiet said...

Fire dancer? careful of them types. I taught Danielle Steele's son, should I see if I can get her publisher's name? Good stuff there Ms. Wee.

April 14, 2009 at 4:15 PM

Blogger Shan said...

Bree, you WILL find love again, I am sure of that. Loved your chapter - put a big smile on my face! :)

April 14, 2009 at 4:21 PM

Blogger Sue said...

things that make me say are one of them..real real to the bone...thanks for sharing...

April 14, 2009 at 6:19 PM

Blogger Maggs said...

Great chapter Bree. And go for it...well as long as his name isn't Scotty ;-)

April 14, 2009 at 8:15 PM

Blogger Bruce Stewart (ブルース・スチュワート) said...

I almost missed this posting, which goes to show I don't look at your blog every day and I am not obsessed with you, although I think you are a wonderful person and a great friend, which is more important than looks in the long run. I can't recommend any books as I hope I will never need to take that course. Anyway, take your time, keep writing your story and keep on as good terms as possible with Jim. People do sometimes change for the better. You never can be sure of the future. And all the best for Florida next week.

April 15, 2009 at 1:49 AM

Blogger Kathleen @ ForgingAhead said...

So happy for you Bree! Opening your heart to love is a beautiful thing. Lovely writing too!

April 15, 2009 at 5:19 AM

Blogger Sharon said...

I follow your blog from time to time. I loved your entry, I can TOTALLY relate to you and know that you are not alone. I got divorced in 2007 and I guarantee there is love again. I am only 27 and I never expected to be married and divorced by 25 But since then I have found the most amazing guy (who I met in the pool at Masters btw) and could not be happier but it took some time for me to find myself first and rebuild my own life. You have to give yourself that time! Triathlon wasn't the reason for my divorce but it was an issue no doubt, it's a major priority in my life and unless you have the same lifestyle you can't understand it. My new guy has done IM 11 times and he totally gets it, we click and it works! I call my ex-husband my internship, he was a learning experience. Haha.

Best of luck to you this year! If you do write a book one day about this, I would definitely read it! And I agree, the self help divorce books were never very good!


April 15, 2009 at 8:59 AM

Blogger Cricket said...

You will find love again... or it will find you. You have sooo much to offer in a relationship. I may be bias towards you, but your ex was just plain stupid- you weren't a fit! I'm not cutting anyone down, but it is the truth. You have a better half out there- just be yourself... and you will find him.
Remember in the "buffet" of life you have to sample a few different dishes to know what is your favorite. Or better yet find the one that you can have daily!!!
I love you- I love your post- you are healing in a good way! Good for you!

April 15, 2009 at 12:10 PM

Blogger Cricket said...

Fire Dancer? Sumo Wrestler? Either one will keep ya warm!!! LOL

April 15, 2009 at 12:15 PM

Blogger Ordinarylife said...

Thank you so much for posting that. It is exactly what I needed today.

April 16, 2009 at 12:48 AM

Blogger Running~Jordan said...

Keep going, Bree, you are a breath of fresh air in this world (air + fire = hot btw).

April 16, 2009 at 4:52 AM

Blogger Rosario said...

I have been through a terrible breakup and even after all the drama, I have managed to come to an agreement to co-parent my 3 year old. I went to joint sessions of therapy after the breakup and all the effort in keeping it about the best interest of the little one has been totally worth it.
I'm the same age you are, and do read your post now and then, I do triathlons for fun. I can relate so much to what you are saying here. I wish you the best. I know that your positive attitude towards life will be reflected in the way you decide to close this chapter and start a new one.
all the best from Waimea, Hawaii

August 2, 2009 at 1:20 AM


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