Making Lemonade

“I’ve been called many things by many people. Quitter is not one of them.” – Hillary Clinton

 

Those who follow this web series will know life has been a freaking roller coaster for me recently – one setback after another. The moment I thought training was on track and I had Ironman WA in the bag – boom! Something else came up.

But I don’t give up easily. I’m not a quitter. It was all about finding solutions. How could I still make this work? And while in the end I had to make the call to pull out of the Ironman due to medical issues, I still had the option of taking part in the 70.3 if I felt OK enough. All was not lost.

In the days before I was due to fly across to WA, I still wasn’t 100 per cent sure if I’d actually go. “What if I flare up while I’m over there?” “What if … this, and what if … that?” My thoughts were plagued with a lot of ‘what ifs’. Despite all of this I decided to pack my bags and my bike, and make the trip. If nothing else it would be good to get away and enjoy a mini break. A part of me also knew I’d regret it if I didn’t go …

And I’m so glad I went.

Busselton, WA, is one of my most favourite places. It is an absolutely stunning location and it makes me so happy every time I’m there. I’ve been going to Busselton for the Ironman each year for the last seven or so years, so I have some really great memories – one year I even made the Ironman WA post race video … I was cheering for friends, holding up signs we’d made the night before.

This year was no different and it was made extra special by what ended up unfolding on Sunday.

I ended up taking part in Ironman 70.3 WA with the view that I’d take it easy and pull out if I wasn’t feeling well. And well, I felt good the entire time. I continued and didn’t give up. My goal was to survive the swim, have fun on the bike and to not stop on the run (even through the aid stations).

And I did it!

There was a shark in the swim – hello, my worst fears came true! Ah! I got about 330 metres into the swim and was told to get out. I have never swum so fast towards a pier (#sharksurvivor … ha!). The bike was fun and fast – oh how I love the sound of race wheels! And then I had a good run. I didn’t stop and in the end it was all about just trying to outrun the pesky flies. Overall, I loved it! I have never been this happy in a race before. I have never been this happy and grateful to be able to be out there, amongst all the action, doing what I love.

And the best part is … (drum roll please)

I got a spot to the Ironman 70.3 World Championship in South Africa!

I am beyond excited! This sort of thing never happens to me. What a way to make lemonade! I am so glad I went. I am so glad I didn’t give up!

So, as 2017 comes slowly comes to a close I’m really looking forward to 2018. There are big things ahead, so watch this space. There’s a lot of work ahead of me but I’m excited. And most of all … I will never give up. I will never give up on my dream.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Margaret Mielczarek

Margaret Mielczarek is the deputy editor at Australian Triathlete Magazine and writes the web series 'Shenanigans of a Deputy 2.0'. She is a passionate age-group triathlete and four-time Ironman finisher - currently in training for Ironman number five!

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