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10 days before Ironman Lake Placid, on a routine training ride, my forearms slipped from my aero-bars and I crashed into a ditch. It hurt like hell! A trip to the emergency room ensued. The verdict, no broken bones, 20 stitches in my chin, a mangled and stitched finger, and epic road rash.

After, I was left questioning the nurse. Can I swim tomorrow? Can I run tomorrow? Can I bike tomorrow? Can I race Ironman Lake Placid in 10 days? The answers were all “NO”! Disobediently, I rode the next day with a bag on my hand, to avoid getting the stitches wet. I ran the following day, ziplock bag on hand! I swam for the first time one day before Lake Placid (one day after my stitches were taken out). The pain from the water pressure on my finger was nearly unbearable. Should I race? Can I race? Both were questions I asked myself in the days leading up to toeing the water on Mirror Lake Beach where the 2.4 mile swim would commence.

I raced. The adrenaline trumped the pain. I crushed it and qualified for the World Championships in Kona Hawaii. I share this story, because it taught me many life lessons. Don’t let hardship interrupt your dreams. Find a way. Conquer what you’ve set out to do. Anything is possible.

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