Saturday, November 3, 2007

It was our dream...



About 4 years ago I found three of the best friends I will ever have. When we met I didn't know then the impact they would have on my life or just how enriched my life would be by knowing them. Each of us were in different places in our lives... but we shared one common goal... we wanted to do Ironman together! Lauren (at the time, a VERY experienced triathlete... she had done about 2) took me on my first ever bike ride... a 56 miler! We didn't really think about "building up" miles, we just went. She taught me everything I needed to know about nutrition too-just take "cake frosting". That was her cool name for gels. And there was Kawika. He was the BEST runner we knew! He had never run a marathon, a 1/2 marathon, and come to think of it... maybe only a handful of run races... but he was VERY experienced! He ran all sorts of trails, up the Hualalai Volcano, and being a local boy growing up on the island he even chased and caught goats! EVERYONE knows only the fast runners can catch wild goats. A bit like the Kenyans I guess. We would run everywhere, all day together. My biggest goal in life was to beat him. At the end of every run I would try to sprint him to the end of the stop sign near the Kona pool. I always lost. Now Lopaka... He is the coolest! At 55 years old he had done Ironman like 7 times! And he knew everyone in Kona. The ladies would flock to him...he looked about 35...but it was because he was glowing with this shiny oil he would put on (ladies love shiny men I guess). Together we would talk about the day we all do Ironman together. We would train almost every day with eachother. Just laughing hysterically, picking up mongoose on the side of the road, refueling on spam musubi's, talking about all pros Lauren got to meet (she worked in the bike shop they would shop at when in town), sharing dreams of finishing Ironman. Those were some of the best days of my life. Together, training for a dream we shared.

Life happens though... Lauren and her husband moved to the mainland for a year. Then they moved back home to Hawaii and she started working about 60 hours a week. I fell in love, got married, and had a baby. Kawika also fell in love, but also lost his freedom to hang out with his buddies (I call that "______ whipped"). And Lopaka is nearing 60 and decided to work on his own business. Life pulled us each into our own levels of "being REALLY busy". So, for the last year we trained mostly on our own. Lauren fell in love with mountain biking and did Xterra, Kawika spent a lot of time on his relationship and other "Veeks type stuff", Lopaka and I did do Ironman this year. Even though all four of us weren't "in" the race together... we were all out there together. During Ironman Lauren and Kawika were right there with us! Cheering. laughing, crying. At the most difficult part of the day, the only part that hurt for me, when I needed them most, (mile 24 of the run) they were there. Right there on my right hand side they were there on mountain bikes yelling out the same old jokes that carried me through the training days with them, right there reminding me of how bad we all wanted this... they have always been there even when we all got really busy in our lives.

Well, today was the best day I have had since the days when we first met. Us four met up and went mountain biking. Once again, leave it to Lauren to teach us everything we need to know! (she has done all of 2 mountain bike races-the second one Xterra Championships). This time was different though... as we got to the "Lava Launch Pad" I call
it that because it was so scary... she said, "just look where you want to go, keep your legs moving... okay let's go!". I didn't see her again till the end! Anyways, like old training days, we were together, laughing, learning from whoever knew the most or did more races. I hope this is not the start of a new dream of us all wanting to do Xterra World Championships together...

3 comments:

BEE said...

I was laughing so hard I teared up reading this and thinking about our training past! Remember training for KoOlina? I can only imagine what people were thinking as we ran circles on the pier...and that was the one time you allowed me to get distracted by the dolphins! Thanks for riding yesterday; it was a highlight for me too!

BreeWee said...

The best... running next to the pier, in swim caps and suits, no shoes... we were worse than the underpants run! Oh, and the ride... I STILL hurt! H2O polo tomorrow... bring your "A" game BEE!

Shelley said...

As much as Kawika would like to blame me for his "loss of freedom" to hang out with you guys. I have to disagree. I have never told Kawika he can't hang with you guys. Sorry you feel that way. Sincerely, the pussy whipper.