I’ve learned how to say “thank you” in Portuguese – it’s “Obrigado.”  I said it quite a bit while enjoying my time in beautiful Portugal, with my family after my epic race in Spain.  Today I want to say thank you, gracias and obrigado to everyone who helped me on my way to (and though) that race.  You have no idea how much it means to me or how grateful I am to have your support.

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I made a huge mistake, when I posted my finish line picture to Facebook, when I wrote “I did it!”  What I should have written was “WE did it!” because it absolutely takes a village, and today I want to thank my village.

As I have written here many times, racing is a mental game.  Anyone who has pushed though a tough workout will tell you that 85% (or more!) is believing you can do it.  Throughout my six long months of training, I had a lot of doubt.  Your mind can play tricks on you, tricks that involve guilt, pressure and defeat.  Each time one of those days crept up and tried to beat me down, I would reach out for support and I always got it!

At Nationals, you may recall that I had no clue there was serious altitude in Tucson where I was racing, until I got there.  I called my best friend, crying, looking for help.  She laughed.  It was exactly what I needed to hear.  She also told me I was a machine and that air was for wusses.  She was right.

Shannon is always setting me straight when training beats me down.  THANK YOU!

Shannon is always setting me straight when training beats me down. THANK YOU!

When crisis hit just before leaving for Spain, and I realized I had to ship my bike out before my big local duathlon, my friends came to my rescue.  I had multiple offers for bikes, help to find another bike and just well wishes and good thoughts surrounding me.  I was filled with gratitude.  THANK YOU.

Let’s face it, it was hard being my friend these past six months.  How many times can you hear me blab on about my training or whine about a crappy run or bike ride when you’re working a 40 hour week and just trying to get to Zumba twice in a month?  My friends let me know their support had no bounds.  Each time I felt I was pushing my luck with my yapping – they all rallied around me.

Me and my biggest fan aka Aunt Carla, after I won the Glastonbury Duathlon. Who is happier??

Me and my biggest fan aka Aunt Carla, after I won the Glastonbury Duathlon. Who is more excited??

The morning of the World Championship Duathlon, my Facebook feed was filled with support and luck.  I was crying over how many of you were awake on the East Coast (at 6am on a Sunday!) posting:

“I was thinking of u this morning when I was running the iron horse half!!! I’m sure u killed it in ur race!!!” – Jess K.

“Alice, you are one amazing Chiquita !!!!” – Tara M. (all my high school friends call me ‘Alice’)

“Thinking about you!!!! Rock it out girl!!” – Allison G.

“Been up since 5 am thinking of you…can’t wait to hear how you rocked this race!!”– Barb B.

“Thinking of you today! You rock! It’s a gorgeous day here and it’s opening day at Coventry. I take that as a good sign. Can’t wait to buy you a big cupcake there!” – Tamara B.

“Wide awake at 6am, thinking about you…. can’t wait to hear about your adventure!” – Kris W.

I was so overwhelmed and felt ready to race, knowing how many of my friends were thinking of me.  It’s truly an amazing feeling.  THANK YOU.

When I returned home, it was a total bummer.  It was a let down on so many levels – the high of the race, the vacation, the relaxation and much needed family time – all came to a crashing halt after a God awful 9 hour trip back home.

When I got home…actually, as I was pulling up my mountain, I could see there was a sign on my door and balloons with “USA” on them, bobbing from our front porch posts.  I knew there had been an “Aunt Carla” afoot:

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What a welcome!!!  It made me instantly happy and gave me renewed energy.  Plus the boys were distracted playing with balloons while I unpacked and started 14 loads of laundry.  THANK YOU!

 

And then I went to my first Spin class at the YMCA where I teach and saw this:

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So many members and staff had signed it.  I stood in the hallway and just cried as I read what each and every person had written.  There are no words to describe how I felt and how it feels to have the support of a community.  THANK YOU.

If you want to absolutely make my year, tell me that I inspire you.  I never get tired of hearing it.  I take being a personal trainer and fitness instructor very seriously.  I walk the walk and don’t just give lip service.  I want to be a leader, but I also want people to find their own way, their own goals and to achieve them.  To motivate and inspire someone to that end, and to watch them transform, is an honor.

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So today, for anyone who has ever said “Good luck” or “You can do it” or (especially) “You inspire me!”  I want to say that you all motivate and inspire me.  THANK YOU from the bottom of my heart.  WE DID IT!

Who motivates and inspires you?

Who would you like to thank today?

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