To be inspired

October 5, 2011

I am extremely proud of this Xtri interview with Kristen Roe. In 2009 she reached out to me after a crazy race I had experienced and she’s become a very close friend, partner and crime and one of the new owners of Train-This. K-Roe (as I like to call her) is my inspiration. Please wish her luck this weekend on the big island and ready her story. It’s truly full circle!

The other day I read this blog by Chrissie Wellington. Like many others, I find her inspirational. Not because she’s fast. Not because she’s won every Ironman she has ever entered. Because of the way she carries herself. She’s gracious. She’s giving. She’s fierce yet not in a  narcissistic way, the kind that makes you roll your eyes. You know….. you hear it from those athletes who inundate you with their times and paces through every conversation or blog. (I ran XX pace for ten million miles!)

Read through Chrissie’s. I don’t think I see once brag about pace per mile or mile per hour. she celebrates her world records with as much passion as she celebrates the athletes who finish in 16.59:59.

It’s been a long time since I have resonated with someone as I do with her. Throughout my career I resonated most with Lisa Bentley, and if you know her story, you know why. I seek those who inspire me by being more than a time on a clock. I resonate with those who are who they are. Not who they pretend to be.  Whether they are fierce competitors or laid back, don’t pretend you are who you aren’t and I will likely call you my hero.

That is who I aim to be every. single. day. Some days I am likeable, some days I am more hate-able but one thing is for sure….. it’s 110% me. No one else.

But anyway……..

Chrissie’s most recent blog  before she aims to regain her crown at the Ironman World Championships really struck a chord within me. Here are the points I took away……

  • Be meticulous in your preparation. This woke me up like I was shocked out of a dead sleep. Am I meticulous in my preparation? No. I am not. Not all the time like I could be. The issues of being distracted because I am spread so thin over this amazing journey I call an awesome freaking life are absolutely the culprit. I acknowledge that wholeheartedly. The steps I have taken to streamline that spread so thin part have already fallen into place, and the new attention I have focused on my preparation…. well those results will be seen soon enough.
  • Know yourself, understand your strengths and weaknesses, establish the goal for which you are fighting and accumulate and utilize the resources at your disposal. This is one I have always had down. I know myself and I know myself well. The benefit of hitting rock bottom at age 20 eliminates the need for a mid-life crisis later in life. It eliminates the question of who am I and what am I doing here. Trust me I saw that big bright light just once, and it catapulted me into a very clear view of myself and my purpose in life. I get criticism for that all the time. But if you know anything about anything you know that criticism doesn’t come from those who are not unhappy with you…. to them you represent something they are missing within themselves.  Take that negativity then, and turn it into your own fuel to find your clarity. The way I found mine is not the way I’d recommend. You only want to see the big bright light once, when it’s time to.

My resources are in line. I look around at the people on my team and I think…. whoa. If I am going to succeed, I have the right team.

  • That personal plan must be followed with confidence and focus, but with an ability to be flexible and spontaneously adapt to change. This is the other piece that I have. My work with QT2 is sound. It is solid. It will show very soon. While the progress has been slow and personal I have never questioned it. It was difficult for me to slow down and focus on correct pacing this season.The ego doesn’t like that. People laughed at me, even to my face. But I know the plan, I know the progression and now that I have mastered that piece of this puzzle I can unleash.  The person whose opinion that matters most to me……. is the woman in my mirror.

Recently I was talking with a friend about this whole sport and how we as women and mothers, working mothers who have big targets and also have big lives….. balance it all. As we were talking I felt my heart swell and the passion I have for what we do about jumped right out of my chest.

Yes the long workouts have to get done. Yet we might eat a certain way to hit a certain body composition. It’s okay that at the end of the day we are tired. To me at the end of the day what’s most important are not the miles I logged or the paces that I hit them in……. those are certainly important to me……. but what’s most important are the two guys I share my life with.

Have I given them 100%?

I get up in the morning because I love to swim, bike and run. I love everything that goes with it. I love the entire journey that it brings me. It’s not a bog one way street. There are curves, stops, lessons, victories. If you can’t handle the whole package, then learn to.

It’s women like Lisa Bentley, Chrissie Wellington, Karen Smyers,  Natasha Badman, and so many others who I look to for inspiration. These are the women who see the forrest through the trees. These are the women who resonate with me because…. well frankly they understand what life is. They understand this sport is a privilege and not a right. They understand the highs and lows and they are deeper than pace and podium.

All eyes are on Wellington this weekend, including mine. Regardless of her finishing place or time, she will share a lesson of the day that I will identify with and will help me on my own journey. Sharing like that…… is the greatest inspiration there is.



  1. Thanks so so much for your words Mary. they mean more to me than you could ever know. good luck with everything you do, in sport and in life. and remember, there truly are no limits!

    Chrissie x

  2. This will forever be the day that my comment is under Chrissie’s comment. She’s an amazing role model for women and athletes alike!!

  3. Mary you are an amazing role model for yogis , triathletes and the everyday woman who struggles and juggles life, food and fitness. You too inspire so many!!!!

    • I have to second Wendy’s comment… and say thank you for being 110% you–it’s absolutely inspiring 🙂

  4. Beautiful Blog post Mary! I read the article you sent me and I also read Chrissies Blog alot to get my inspiration!! She is a great role model! And you should be proud of the person you are today too!!

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