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1. Edit it in CMS "SEO Content" Content Area on normal CMS pages.

2. E-commerce categories have it in "SEO ("SEO Content")" section.

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4. Blog list - blog name

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Subtitle

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Archive for February 2018

Iron-mama Blog – from Ironman to Pregnancy and Back

          

Archive for February 2018

When a Community Hurts

Last week something tragic happened in our community: Stoneman Douglas High School experienced a mass shooting. There were 17 people who died. The agency I worked for: The Broward Sheriff's Office responded. I couldn't help but cry. 

See, someone knew someone who was affected by this tragedy. Friends called to see if I was okay. They knew the Broward Sheriff's Office responded and some of the people Iknew might be in that building. They were right. I frantcially texted people on my cell phone to make sure they were okay. I knew they wouldn't respond but I didn't care. I just needed to go through the motions. As the news unfolded I was glued to the television just watching what the rest of the world was watching. I felt helpless. I felt vunerable and shaken. The reality sank in. My child would grow up in a world where a school is no longer considered to be safe. A school, a safe zone, was attacked and the lives of these children shattered. The world mourned. Seventeen families were affected. Their loved ones never coming back. It was just too much emotion. It felt like nothing else that I was doing at the moment really mattered. I hugged my daughter so tight that night thinking that in a couple of years I would have to teach her about this ugly world. I fell asleep that night praying.

The next day I woke up to go to work. I knew it was going to be a strange day. News trucks would most likely be outside and people would be coming and out as they were heading/leaving from the active crime scene. I was right. One of the deputies' wives who responded to the scene was still shaken from the day before. He was there, in a classroom, protecting those children. I can't imagine having that much fear that my husband won't come home because of his line of work. It's absolutely heartbreaking. I just hugged her and listened. I didn't know what to do. I just told her to thank her husband for me. Hell, we should thank law enforcement officers and first responders more than we actually do. As I went through my day I felt more and more prouder of my agency and the fact that I worked for them. Barely anyone was in the building that day. Most of them were out on the crime scene or doing something related to the shooting. Still I continued to check up on the people I knew because that's all I knew I could do. 

The next day was a little better. I think what had occurred two days ago had finally sunk in. Everyone had gotten over their shock and numbness and were either angry, mourning or passionate that something needed to change. I returned back to my "happy go lucky" personality and figured I would do what I do best - just try to make the world a little better by being nice, happy and supportive to everyone around me. 

The weekend arrived and there was so much happening in our community: from demonstrations to discussion about issues that should have been discussed a long time ago - it seemed as though everyone in the entire community was talking to one another. Organized events started popping up on social media in memory of some of the people who lost their lives. It was a chance for the community to come together to mourn and remember. It was beautiful. I think as a society we have veered off from being a "community" and instead operate as a single unit/"family" isolating ourselves from the rest of the world. Now a days most people don't know their neighbors. They're so caught up in their day to day that it's hard to make those connections. When out and about it's rare for people to look at one another and say hello or smile, we're so busy looking at our phones instead, completely oblivious to our surroundings. It has to stop. We need to stop and smell the roses. We need to realize that life is way too short to not be in the present. And most importantly, we need to live. 

Although this event will go down in the history books as one of the most tragic events this world has experienced something beautiful has emerged: a community that is stronger than it has ever been before. There are young children who were deeply affected by this that will change this world for the better. They will do more. I just know it. I stand behind them hoping that somehow I will be able to help them.

This past week I actually had a chance to visit the memorial. It was probably one of the most emotional experiences of my life. I had gone to the Run Club less than 2 miles away from the school to talk about my upcoming 5K. Their route passes the highschool and I knew I would finally have a chance to see it for myself. As I made my way towards the school you could see the lights and news crews all around. I could feel my anxiety rising as I ran past it. I felt my feet move faster and faster because that's how I cope with things - I run and I had to run faster at that moment. I turned the corner away from the school and I felt myself slow down for a minute. It was dark and I was unsure of the path so I just let myself get caught up in my own thoughts. I thought things like - how scared must have those kids been? What are they doing right now? As I was lost in my thoughts I saw a sign that read: MAke school safe no guns for kids with flowers surrounding it. I hit the 1.5 mile mark and turned around. As I made my way back towards the school I decided to cross the street to visit the memorial. As I made my way towards the gate I started crying hard. I couldn't comprehend it all. I have never felt my heart hurt so much. At the same time however I felt at peace. I felt as though visiting the memorial is what I needed to start healing. I tried controlling my cries as I made my way back to the route. Once I hit the sidewalk I sprinted so fast. I needed to get it all out and I was trying so hard just by moving my feet as fast as I could. My breathing was heavy and I just cried again. I finally came to a stop light where I had to slow down. I made it a point to calm down and slowly began processing what had just happened. I ran all of the way back just lost in my own thoughts again. 

When I got back to the store I thanked the manager and told him I was really happy I was able to make it out to them. They're holding a memorial run Sunday night I am hoping I might be able to make it. I really want to see the huge turnout they're expecting and I'm hoping my daughter is well enough to participate. Because that's what I do as a runner - I run. I run when I'm happy. I run when I'm sad. I run when I need to figure something out. It's how I live my life and what a beautiful life it has been. 

I know that this blog is supposed to be about my journey to Wilmington 70.3 and this event was just too powerful to not share. Because as much as we talk about the physical part of training we fail to mention a lot of the mental part of training. 

My Story

First and foremost, I would love to thank Red Bull for providing my group, Iracelikeagirl, with this opportunity – a paid entry to an Ironman Event + Red Bull shipments leading up to the event!!!! I just can’t believe I was chosen for this incredible prize!!!! I have to say I was shocked when I was notified because a part of me didn't believe that I would win (I mean I never win prizes haha). But, I'm glad I did - because I think I'm ready to conquer this racing distance again.
So, you might be thinking to yourself, well, what is this girl's story? Here, let me tell you......
I guess you could simply describe me as a mom, wife, employee and athlete.

Becoming a mom has been one of the most important parts of life and has taught me a lot of things about life in general and even about myself as a person. It’s a hard job and you don’t realize how hard it is until you’ve been up with a sick baby all night long only to head into work the next day without really sleeping. My two-year-old daughter is basically a mini-version of myself which means that she NEVER STOPS MOVING, AND as much as I complain, I wouldn’t have it any other way – she’s perfect. And, she’s the reason I’m still participating in triathlons. She watches me train, compete and occasionally become overwhelmed. Through this sport I’m teaching her about hard work, choosing an active lifestyle and that sometimes life can just be hard. I teach her how hard work leads to great results; however, it can also lead you to occasional disappoints – but that’s okay – you just keep working. And more importantly, I teach her that just because you’re a “girl” - it doesn’t mean that you can’t be tough and strong, because you can be.

As a wife, this balancing act is hard. Finding a way to truly appreciate your significant other while being a mom, working and training can sometimes become forgotten. Have I had those moments? Absolutely. However, there are certain moments when I realize how supportive my husband truly is and I can’t help but to appreciate the hell out of him and make a conscious effort to do something nice for him “just because”. Because of him (and my mom), I can train without worrying about my daughter. He’s one of my biggest cheerleaders and knows how important being an athlete is to me. Nothing is truly better than watching him and my daughter on the course. It pushes me harder even when I think I have nothing left.

Being a working mom is something that I’ve come to enjoy. It gives me the adult conversations I crave and helps me to focus on something that ultimately helps the community. I love my job and the people there. They’re basically all my free therapists and have become my second family. I can truly say I enjoy going to work and doing my job.

Lastly, being an athlete has always been an important part of my life. A part of my life that I never wanted to lose once I became a parent. See, it’s easy to have “MOM GUILT” and sacrifice pieces of your life that were important to you because you’re technically away from your child. I struggled with this concept, especially when I first became a mom, but again, my family encouraged me to keep this part of my life – and I’m so glad I did. It helps me become a better mom and let’s me focus on just “me”. What a concept – focusing “on just me.”

So, there you have it folks. A brief summary of my life. I’ll continue to tell you bits and pieces of my life as I blog about my training. As a side note, I’m no stranger to half ironmans. Heck, I thought I was done with them after my last 70.3 this past October. I told myself it was “too hard” to train and compete after being disappointed on my bike time for the race.  But, I recognize I was being a brat and have thought about what race I can aim for next. I even planned my racing schedule for most of the year – leaving the last half of the year open “just in case” I won this challenge. And, I’m so glad I did. So – Wilmington 70.3 – I’m coming for you!

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