Friday, August 3, 2012

Around the island...

"Faith is the strength by which a shattered world shall emerge into light"-Helen Keller.  Riding and running around the island it looks as if so many of the homes, parts of the land, yards, and fields are shattered.  I rode through a neighborhood where some homes had only 2 walls, you could peek into their very home.  Walls were torn down, roofs missing in some corners, and the homes with all the walls attached had windows covered with boards or bars to hold them up. 
But on the run, with the same views, I discovered, light has already emerged into this little town.  You could see it on the face of each and every child.  Simply happy.  Happy not for what they lacked, but for what they have.  It made me appreciate my life even more.  My hands hold so much, my life is given so much, and I have opportunity to work for even more, it's a pretty life.  Today I was touched beyond what I already know, it was as if I just let go of the worry I sometimes have about "having enough".  I let go of the care I sometimes hold about "what others think", and I discovered happiness is so much more about what is within me, within my hands, what I already have.  It feels as if this lesson is retaught to me each and every time my feet are in a place that appears to look in need by what my eyes see, but when I look with my heart, it appears as if this land has truly been blessed... 

Kainoa has been parading around my head all day.  From the start of the children's race, where I just know he would love to be competing, to the children in the streets holding our hands, to all there is to do and see here on the island.  This really would feel like Heaven on Earth to him.  So... I did what any mom would do, wrote an email to his dad "putting the plan into motion"...

Just how does the day begin on the island?  With eggs and toast of course!  Rice covered in kimchee and seaweed, and grilled eggplant n' sweet potatoes.  It feels like home to me.  The swim was very much at home too.  Just moments after hearing about a "jellyfish catching contest" here swam directly into one.  I'm thinking I might get really lucky in such a contest and am highly considering entering...

The thrill of today was dodging traffic.  At first it was beyond scary.  More people hanging out of cars, off the back of trucks, and jumping in and out of the streets than imaginable.  After making my way through every nook and cranny I discovered it really is not that bad if you ride the way the locals drive.  (Take that with caution).  They make a move and stick with it, they hold firm to their spot in the road, they get close but not too close, they beep beep beep a lot to tell you they are here, they whistle and say, "hey sexy", and they all want to high-five you.  So I did that, I even went beep beep beep.  And before long I felt like a girl who knows how to ride in Cebu like a pro.  To ride any other way was REALLY, REALLY dangerous.  Those athletes not from here, like myself, that were trying to ride different were nearly thrown into the streets, pushed off the side of the road, or put into the middle of the lane of oncoming traffic-I kid you not, I saw it all.

However, even better than being like the cars is actually riding in a pack of locals that we were so fortunate to have met on the bridge, the only "hill" in the race.  They were marvelous and beyond words helpful to 2 girls who live on a much less traffic-jammed island.

The other very cool part of the day was this little girl in the kids race.  She was actually winning the race but was directed off course, the wrong way.  Unlike the grown up race they let her back on and through the finish line...but she was now way in the back and tears stained her face.  After a little pep talk, you know, "There will be more races, keep in your heart that you were racing up front, you got to race, ect" she didn't feel much better.  I don't blame her, that stuff never works on me either.  So I gave it to her straight, straight from my own experiences of bum luck, and you know what, she smiled.  A small smile, but the tears went away and we became friends. 

I loved her story.  It reminded me to go hard and hurt good tomorrow.  It feels so much better to cross a finish line with everything and more given than to leave anything on the course.  I feel really good too, not sure if it is the joy and passion I feel about being in the Philippines or what, but I feel good...
...and to top off a good day, this is the walkway to the hotel we are staying in.  In my humble opinion, I might just agree...

Good luck to all the Philippines 70.3 athletes tomorrow, it's going to be a special day. See you out there!



Blogger Kathy said...

Have a great race today, Bree! Thinking of you.

August 5, 2012 at 8:57 AM

Blogger marian said...

yeah bree! congratulations! can't wait to read your race report.

August 5, 2012 at 9:01 AM

Blogger Dawn said...

Go Bree! Congratulations on a great race day!!! :) So happy for you! Love your story too about the little girl triathlete you met... thanks for sharing and for always inspiring. Looking forward to reading your race report. Looks like a beautiful little part of the world, happy celebrating!

August 5, 2012 at 10:25 AM

Blogger Lucy Francis said...

everytime I see the devastation caused by some natural causes in some parts of the world my heart goes out to the people affected. They ahve so little and end up loosing the little they have. It puts it all into prespective really.
I hope the floods subside in the Philipines....what I'd like to know is what is the government doing to prevent this kind of thing? are they building better dams/sewage/water works? and reeforcing places where landslides can happen?

August 7, 2012 at 10:58 AM

Blogger irenesharie said...

Hi Bree!

Thanks for taking a piece of the islands with you through an I Heart Shirt from Islands Souvenirs!

Congratulations on the finish!
We also featured this blog post in our facebook account.

- Irene. Marketing Officer. Islands Souvenirs.

August 8, 2012 at 11:46 PM


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