Derick and I took a Wilderness Survival Course a week after Hawaii. It was a great change of pace to our Saturday; almost ‘like a normal couple’, doing something cool, unique and together. We drove 1 hour north of the Austin sprawl into the quiet countryside of Bertram, Texas. We spent 7 hours in a rustic little cabin with 10 others learning the basics of wilderness survival; how to be prepared for an emergency scenario, immediate human needs in case one is stranded and alone, how to make fire, how to find water. It made us both want to go camping again. It made me want to go camping and impress my friends with 6 different ways to start a fire. We finished our course with a quick lesson on compass reading, and we were taught about how ‘magnetic north’ varies from ‘true north’. Our instructor left us with the simple yet resonating message. “Go and find your own true north.”
The past two races were slow to get put into writing. Sometimes you have those events whereby while you’re proud of the effort, the result in your opinion is just ‘meh’. That is how I feel about both Buffalo Springs and Racine 70.3. That said, there was a similarity in both races which is something I am proud of and that is the attitude I managed to maintain throughout and how it helped get me to the finish line; in what I feel are less than stellar 3rd and 4th places, but in reality are nothing to hang my head about.
I’ve never quite understood it when people say they are “going to defend their title” upon returning to a race as the previous year’s winner. It seems more appropriate “I’m going with the goal of defending my title.” So when many asked me if I was ‘going to Ironman Texas to defend’, I guess I just saw it differently. The goal was, as with any race, go out and execute the absolute best of my ability; if that landed me on top, all the better. But I’ve often found it dangerous to become too focused on the top step of a podium, especially in an event such as Ironman, with so many variables that come into play. Becoming too fixated on a ‘title defense’ to me just seems misguided.