I will boldly post a bathing suit pic and say I am comfortable in my own skin and have worked hard to maintain it for 39 years. The sands have shifted a bit and as much as I want to fight gravity - gravity fights harder. But this is the only body I get to work with from start to finish.
Time and time again I will say what an amazing machine this Body is, and I will say it until the day I die. I was fortunate for something to have clicked at a young age, to have been exposed to sports and was amazed by how our Machine works. Because as a child I wanted to move, work and challenge my body and test it's limits with physical challenges. I did and still do NJOY the journey of caring for it.
Too many of us take our body for granted. We poison it, deprive it of sleep or food, or even the opposite and live a slothish life while force feeding it excessive amounts of unnecessary calories. Either way, if we were more mindful of how it worked and what we needed to care for it, we would live with more energy, less pain, and feel better about ourselves.
Caring for our Machine is a lifelong commitment. You cannot accomplish caring for it over a week at a detox spa or on a 6 week crash diet. It takes planning and becoming more mindful to create habits.
Take pride in your body. Love it. Nurture it, physically, mentally and soulfully. Make it a lifelong journey. It is the only thing you came into this world with and will leave with as well, it is something we should honor.
There is always something to come of every first race. Expect the unexpected. Shift and morph plan as necessary. Learn from the moments. You can experience total bliss and agonizing pain all at the same time. Blisters will bleed and sweat will sting your eyes and chafe your skin. You will forget the pain as you run down the tunnel of cheers spectators. Your body will overpower your mind when the finish line comes into site and what once you thought was impossible, you now experience a feeling that you've never been stronger.
EMBRACE those moments. Embrace them all. Because no matter how good or bad they are at the time, you will never experience another first again. The first is the start of your new journey. Your first will impact how your train for the next...or not. Your first will will be your platform on how you make decisions in the next.
All the preparations in the world can never prepare you for the unexpected twists and turns of any race. Especially your first one. Some of my best races were when things went wrong or not exactly how I had planned. It is the ability to adapt quickly, make split second decisions which will determine the outcome of the race. The only time I ever had stomach issues in a race was during my very first Ironman in South Africa which sent me to the port-o-pot every time I tried to speed up my run. It was awful...but it was the most amazing experience of my life. An experience which continued to change my life and form my career, bringing me to where I am today. Taking the good with the bad, learning from one's mistakes and adapting to any situation that is thrown at you is what will make for a great experience.