Thursday, August 13, 2009

One Foot On The Sand...

My favorite song is "One Foot on The Sand" from Justin Young (you can hear it here). I've loved this song for years, in fact when I got face book he is the very first person I asked to be my friend! Yes, I know, I'm a nerd, I just love him though, I'd pretend he was singing to me all the time...


With Ironman Hawaii rolling into town soon I have to play this song 500x a day to keep me calm and keep me grounded. It's not the race that gets me all huffy puffy, it's the massive swarms of people, the crowds, running out of bananas, everyone riding their bike in the middle of the road, and people stealing my favorite Roxy surf shorts! (yes, last year someone took them right off the sea wall- WE ALWAYS leave things there year round and only during IM time do things get stolen).


I love the Ironman race and I love all the opportunity it brings. I love how it helps our local shops & businesses and boosts the economy on the island... but truth be told, it is always challenging to keep the small town, laid back, simple life when there is a hurricane of people on a mission, all moving very fast, and with an agenda.

There are already 4 pros in town preparing for the big dance. Next week more, and every week after that till show time the massive amounts of traffic and people will be here. It makes my heart pound, the butterflies race, and the nerves get out of control. You know how you show up to a race and you start to get the prerace nerves the day or 2 before...? Well, with Kona, I get them about the month before because seeing your back yard go from empty to full is such a transformation that you can hardly control that anxiety that tries to creep in...

I've had a few run-in's with Michael Lovato, he is staying in the condo above me. I really like him, he is so genuine and real. We got to talking about how different town is on this trip of his compared to his October race day... I think he sees it, feels it, and understands it...and now he can embrace it and I'm pretty sure it's going to be one of his best races ever this year, in fact I am putting some money on him!


Today Monroe took a handful of us girls out for open water practice. Open water practice to local girls is bikini's, not a one piece or a fast skin, this is what we know... It is truly unreal to be the only ones out to sea except for a handful of boats, fish, dolphins, and other sea creatures. This is the way I know the ocean, this is the way I am able to keep grounded and keep my feet on the sand...

This is the pier beach (or "Dig Me" beach as all the IM people call it). Empty... this is how we have it most mornings of the week. I'm trying to hold this foto in my head and keep it near my heart so when the swarms of people get here I am able to block it out and visualize this little beach, my local swim spot, as the way I know it. For me, my recipe for success come race day is to be able to race the way I train here, the way I do with my friends swimming in bikini's, the way I ride with holes in my pockets in the bike and goofing with the Hawaii Cycling Club, I've got to run as if it's just me and the locals driving by honking at me or waving...


I have to remember that while everyone from everywhere with all the talent in the world is here to race, I am here too, but for me it's different, the change from empty to full, from lonely to crowded, from calm to crazy is something I have to learn to balance. I've never been good in crowds or pressure... I've got to keep things light hearted and peaceful, enjoyable and full of appreciation...
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My first real taste of panic under pressure and with crowds was at Ironman Canada last year. I will never forget it... The GREAT Paula Newby Frasier was giving me an interview as a first year pro. To be up close to her, talking face to face sent me into a cold sweat and I could not speak, instead I cried, right on the camera in front of onlookers I just cried like a baby. I'm sure that was good game-face for my competition!
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My plan for the next month is to slowly get in the mix as the crowds come in. To not avoid the chaos but to try and gently exist with it, not hide at the secret swim spots and run trails. And more importantly, to keep my feet on the sand at all times, not allowing myself to get lost in the changes that this little town undergoes...
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Hugs from a very calm Kona...
Bree
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14 comments:

Marit Chrislock-Lauterbach said...

Hey Bree - I can't imagine all the change that your home town endures for "Ironman Fever". It sounds like some good stuff mixed in with some not-so-good stuff (sorry about the shorts last year! That's awful!). I'm not at that point of panic YET, but I've had a few nervous twinges already. I can only imagine that it'll get worse from here on out...

Hang in there - sending you GREAT vibes! Keep it real - ocean swims, surfing, and having fun with what you do. Everything else will fall into place :)

Sarah said...

Swimming like that looks like heaven. You are so lucky you can do that every day!

t-odd said...

To be worn out is to be renewed. Lao-tzu, The Way of Lao-tzu

Do, by not doing.

Keep that laid back island attitude and flow with the rest of it. You're doing great.

I am so jealous after seeing those underwater pics. I love to free-dive and it has been waaay too long. I really need to get to Hawaii sometime soon.

Teresa said...

Fun photos. It looks like you are just flying in space. Yes, take race day like a training day, with lots of people out there to train with!

tn

ONEHOURIRONMAN said...

Think calm thoughts as the hoopla starts arriving.

Maybe to make a few extra bucks, you could find out where everyone is staying and sell guides to where the stars of triathlon are staying for $2 to the tourists. Be sure to put your address at the top of the list.

kerrie said...

how funny that ML is staying above you!!! say hi! i get excited just thinking about ali'i, and how it smells there.....i can't imagine how you will have to focus on being grounded when everyone starts rolling into town. i can hardly wait!

ADC said...

Nice post Bree. Enjoy the clamness - I can only imagine how cool and relaxed Kona is. And something is telling me this is going to be your best race so far :)))

Philip said...

Bree...Love your blog! It has my girlfriend and me ready to pack up and move to Hawaii! Thanks for sharing your stories and adventures with us all.

Kia Kaha
Philip

Kim said...

You're doing the right things Bree! Visualize yourself being calm, cool and collected, having fun and enjoying some parts like seeing friends but just keeping your inner peace intact. I will pray that you carry it with you right until and through race day! You can do it! We're all with you already! Wooohoooo!

Regina said...

Man, that looks great. Just floating, suspended in gorgeous water...sigh....

Heidi Austin said...

I love the pics! They must have been fun to take :) Good luck with dealing with the madness... I know you can handle it Bree! Sounds like you have a good attitude going into it :)

Michael said...

Hey there, Bree. Just came here to send a little good-bye shout-out from Boulder. I left late the other night, and tried to wave aloha on my way out, but you were sleeping or gone. Good being neighbors for a spell, and I'll see you in October!

Michael

Swim Coach Finder said...

Those pictures are amazing!

Swimming for ME said...

Oh my gosh Bree I just love those underwater pictures! We don't get to do that here in Maine. It might get warm on the surface in August, but it says cold down below.