In the last few days as I've wound down my winter prep and have rounded up my gear in preparation for the three-week-long race season sender I'm about to begin, I've had the privilege to spend a good amount of time around or talking to people who have given me a bit of perspective. As I've been forced to dial in my mindset and walk away from the emotional and philosophical riddles that have plagued my off-season, a clarity has emerged, due in large part to these very people.
Across the board, one thing has been made very blatantly clear:
I am loved, I am supported and there are people out there who are rooting for me.
Over and over and over and over again, my heart and mind and soul has been filled to overflowing with the unbelieveable amount of confidence and excitement of the people surrounding me. From long phone calls to simple texts to emails and comments and stop ins, I'm reminded so much of how full my life is... And how I can be such a jerk for not realizing it sooner.
In my demand to be loved only under my own terms, I've largely failed to recognize the level of genuine excitement and affection coming from my friends, my community and my family for what I'm doing and who I am...
I'm so excited. I'm so ready for this, and so unbelievably ecstatic to finally be here, at this point, and have the world laid in front of me.
There are so many emotions coursing through my heart and so many thoughts running through my mind, but in both places unanimously, I feel so much goddamn gratitude. No burden, no fear, just gratefulness for the people I have in my life. There is no expectation of me but to do my best and play my hardest, and the chips will fall where they may... And that's love.
From my friends who have quietly helped fund my race season or do favors I know they should not be doing to the people who push me and urge me and love me, even in all of my imperfection... The many, many encouraging, supportive, loving hugs and smiles and grins. The nods and the long looks and the forever understanding of how important this all is, and how unimportant it really is. My little world, encompassed by a grand belief from those around me, has grown... And with it, so have I.
It hasn't been easy, and it likely won't be going forward. But it has been amazing because of every individually incredible soul in my brilliantly beautiful life... And no matter what, that means I've already won. Because I have you.
And that's all that matters.
Thank you. I love you.