Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Setting Goals by Starting Small

To give you a better idea of what an "Ironman Journey" looks like, I thought I might share with you what our weekly workouts are these days.  Dave is a high school teacher and I am a high school teacher-librarian, so we fit in these training sessions before and after school.  Dave is also coaching soccer and I am in graduate school, so sometimes this can make for some very late nights.

Monday- Our one sacred rest day of the week
Tuesday- Swim 56 laps (2.8 km), run 7 miles
Wednesday- Bike 13 miles, run 2 miles
Thursday- Swim 56 laps (2.8 km), bike 25 miles
Friday- Run 7 miles
Saturday- Bike 70 miles, run 4 miles
Sunday- Run 13 miles

Although this seems overwhelming at times (and we're only halfway through our training schedule), for every ride and run I go on, when I pass our mailbox, I am reminded of how far I have come.  Our mailbox is a very short walk from our door.  When I first came home from the University of Colorado Burn Center after being in an induced coma from SJS, my entire body was weak.  I was blind, losing my fingernails and toenails, and patches of my hair were falling out.  Even swallowing was a struggle.

I made it a goal to eventually walk to the mailbox.  Every day, I would do stretches and strengthening on the sofa with my husband.  I would "train" by walking around the house slowly with my mom.  Timid steps, hand extended into the unknown, helped me to rebuild my confidence and my ability.  Stepping out into the sunlight one September morning, my mom and I made it to the mailbox.  Then, many days later, we made it to the end of the block, then down the street, then beyond...

My eyesight was saved thanks to the amazing work of the Rocky Mountain Lyons Eye Institute.  My nails and my hair returned.  My body became stronger every day.  No matter how far I have come from that girl freshly out of a coma, that mailbox will always hold special meaning to me.  I pass by it every day when leaving for my rides and my runs, reminding me of a time when every step was a struggle.  Whether your ambition is the metaphorical mailbox outside your door or an entire Ironman, we all set goals to challenge ourselves and grow.  With commitment, determination, and patience, you can achieve anything.

Please support the University of Colorado Burn Center by going to www.uch.edu/donate.  In the designation field, choose "Other" and type "Burn Fund (Team Emilie)".

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