A Travellerspoint blog

Entries about open water

Rock & Roll - Sun & Snow

Juggling Balls & Dodging Needles

sunny 20 °F

December & January

Three Places. Three Take-A-Ways
1. Canada for Christmas.
Pepe: "How happy are you on a scale of 1-10?"
Me: " A 12" (When my Pepe asked me about RJ) I'd say that accurately sums up that trip.

2. Massachusetts. I'm thankful that no matter how long (or short) my visits back home are, Nick and I never fail to have a long run and a coffee together. This time around we had to forgo the quality of Mrs. Murphys and settle for a Dunks in the truck, but it was great. "Dunks in the truck" Hmm....I feel like I'm knocking on the door of an epic hip hop jam.

3. Bonaire. I don't get to spend nearly enough time with my mom & dad. The week was spent with lot's of time blowing bubbles, open water swimming and just one quick trip to the Emergency Room.
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Now that the summary is out of the way. Let's take a peak at the present.
And Yes, I know, that was not the most worthy summary to encompass these past couple months.

Balls.
I recently realized that I might have too many balls in the air.
Too much going on, too many responsibilities, too many people waiting on me for something....
So. I'm streamlining. Embracing the selfish and remembering that this year is about creating a career.

Needles
I was all prepared to go get my MRI on last week....going to the hospital with out my mom or a significant other was a new experience. After the mornings power test on the bike I was totally prepared to be tough. Then I found out that the contrast dye needed to be injected directly into my hip joint via the monster daddy of all syringes. Phew. That was a curve ball. With tears streaming down my face I made continuous jokes with the doctor in effort to diffuse my own anxiety. Ultimately, I survived unscathed.

Next, it was time to enter the 'waiting period' AKA call imaging department every 2 hours over the next 36 hours. You know what they say, the squeaky wheel gets the fastest radiologist reading.
Results: Not ideal but not the end of the world. Doing my best to stay on track until we figure out the next step....even though sometimes I just want to run away back to Bonaire and never look back.

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When we do have to be inside, thankful for the Apex crew.
Resources. Inspiration. Friendship. Goals

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Winter has finally arrived in Boulder but I am ready for summer.

Cheers to peace, overcoming obstacles and comfy clothes,
~Aubs

Posted by AubreyJ 16:44 Archived in USA Tagged beaches snow home nature beach travel colorado new year family run swimming massachusetts living bike friendship cycling health running strength healthy independence dreams inspiration triathlon inspire motivation choices progress east_coast growing_up multisport. caffeine being_scared being_strong live_big trainining open_water_swimming swim_bike_run athlete_problems open_water Comments (0)

What happens in Key West stays in Key West.

Actually, No. These memories will last a lifetime.

sunny 65 °F

First: Little Tidbits Of Travel

Assorted airports and assorted quotes that sums up 6 flights. Yes, it took 6 different planes to get to and from Key West.

TEXAS:
“Name one food you can’t put bacon on and it will taste better”

Q: May I just have an omelet with all the veggie options you have?
A: Well, we can do onions and bacon.
Q: Umm…let’s skip the bacon, and how about some of the other options from other places on the menu…peppers,,,broccoli
A: Ok. onions, tomato and bacon
Thought: We aren’t in boulder anymore Toto.

DENVER:
“I’ve just found this to be a good use of time while I’m waiting to board….”
-Says the man who is (literally) bicep curling his carryon bag.

MIAMI:
“Awwwww hell no….I did not just only bring my short lashes” <crisis mode voice> Says the woman gluing eyelashes on in the public bathroom.

Shuttle 1 of 4:
“Insert Video Clip Here (If I had one)” Of the shuttle driver belting out some pretty intense ‘praise to the kingdom’ ‘amen’ ‘hallejuigh, love thy savior’ jams at 3:45am. #americanidolworthy #myfillofreligionfortheyear

SILLY LIFE OBSERVATIONS:

1. Dear You: Just take the entire cookie. Because you know when you break it in half, and leave one half behind….It is only a matter of time until you go back, break that half in half and….Seriously ¾ of a cookie!? Who does that. (Yeahh…you know you do…it’s ok, we all do)

2.Your ‘delicates’ and ‘tech clothes’ getting hung to dry is a direct reflection as to how much spare time you have on laundry day. AKA, I’ve got 90 seconds before I have to leave…screw it it’s all going in the dryer.

METAPHORICALLY SPEAKING….

Life is a river...It is not a straight line.
Don't take yourself too seriously. Have fun. Be silly.
Being scared is ok, it means you care.
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In kayaking we would rate rivers by class, but not just the rapid itself. A section could be “Class IV” for example, but with “class V” consequences. Meaning there was something about the rapid that if you were to get into a bad spot the repercussions were more dangerous than the technical skills required to get through. Maybe there were under cut rocks, or some strainers (downed trees) Before putting in it all comes down to, “Is it worth it?” ”Is it worth the risk”. You would make that decision knowing that once you dropped in, you were committed to paddle your little butt to the best of your ability, and have an intense amount of fun while doing it….because something about the sport brings you great joy.
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Maybe it’s inexplicable. Maybe it doesn’t make sense to you all the time. Perhaps when you think about it you can’t pin point the how or the why it makes you so happy. Why are you wiling to devote so much time to the river?

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I've been thinking about how scary and confusing it can be to begin to let someone into your life, and into your heart…..like on the river, there is a similar level of uncertainty..of risk. It is something that takes time, energy and commitment to make forward progress. Maybe sometimes in life we need to stop all the calculating and just drop into the river, not knowing exactly what each rapid ahead holds…but knowing that at the end of the day it is worth it…because being there brings you great joy and that is enough.
#LifeIsARiver #GoGetWet

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Quote Of The Moment

"We are all afraid to say too much, to feel too deeply, to let people know what they mean to us. Caring is not synonymous with crazy. Expressing to someone how special they are to you will make you vulnerable. There is no denying that. However, that is nothing to be ashamed of. There is something breathtakingly beautiful in the moments of smaller magic that occur when you strip down and are honest with those who are important to you. Let that someone know that they inspire you. Tell your mother you love her in front of your friends. Express, express, express. Open yourself up, do not harden yourself to the world, and be bold in who, and how, you love. There is courage in that." #MakeYourOwnPath #BeBold #BeBrilliant #NeverSettle

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Key West Tri

I created a roller-coaster for myself the week leading into this trip. Understatement. Debating on whether I want to race, whether I wanted to go, dreading travel, totally fighting getting sick, and just feeling 'off'.

When push came to shove / it came time for the aircraft doors to close….I stayed in my seat, found a big smile and got ready for a 12 hour travel adventure.

My hesitations about traveling were quickly resolved as soon as I found myself in RJs arms at the Miami airport. Feeling sick lingered, and not wanting to race hung around even longer…essentially right up until the gun went off.

I told myself that there are going to be days where my mind just doesn’t want to show up, and you need to make yourself race well and get over it. So, the day became about finding focus, finding good form and having fun. 3 successful missions. I had the 2nd fastest swim out of the men and women, 14th fastest bike and 3rd fasted run. Playing catch up to the boys and placing 3rd overall , 1st out of the women. It was a tiny race, 500 people total but just like all the races I’ve done this year it became a good learning / building block for next season.
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In some ways it was a confidence boost and in many others a reality check…..I realize the amount of work, progress and improvement that needs to happen. I also realize that I am on a time sensitive path, and with how high I am reaching I can’t afford to waste time, energy or resources. I feel pretty lucky to be surrounded by such a supportive network at home and abroad….

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That night we tore it up in the streets as a band played downtown Key West,. A couple of lone dancers we were as everyone else stood on the curb, head bobbing and foot-tapping with enthusiasm along to the music. Super lame. They were missing out, not us ; ) We were (per usual) just a couple of crazy kids, out to have a good time and make the most of our time together.

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The next day I woke up early to ride and then the four of us (RJ & his folks) spent the day snorkeling, kayaking, sailing, and playing in the ocean. Oh and we went para-sailing, no big deal ; ) It was the “ultimate adventure day” – literally. That is what the package was called….and appropriately named for sure. Saw a turtle and reef shark while snorkeling, got me excited to do some diving in Bonaire next month.

I suppose that is enough for today…since my battery is about kicked.

Quote of the Moment:
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Cheers to sunrise rides, caring deeply and laughing until it hurts,
Aubs

Posted by AubreyJ 06:04 Archived in USA Tagged me mountains beaches home beach travel vacation colorado airport sunrise friends kayaking fun family run share men living bike friendship cycling airports traveling training competition boulder fitness action running strength racing laughter independence whitewater baggage races quotes dreams flor learning goals inspiration triathlon fantasy motivation choices multisport. caffeine being_scared being_strong random_facts bike_racing instincts live_big race_day emotional_wellbeing open_water_swimming self_reflection swim_bike_run athlete_problems open_water funny_story Comments (1)

A Month of Ontario & Kentucky

I clearly have a knack for picking the most exotic travel destinations...

semi-overcast 40 °F

As I write this I am jamming out pretty hard to what might be the most random I-Tunes mix this side of the Mississippi. We’re talking Steve Winwood, Eminem, and One Republic, over to Florida Georgia Line, The Naked and Famous and Lorde. It’s a flat out rock out. Good thing I am in my own row of seats and don’t care what other people think about my seated, head bobbing dance moves. Looking around, everyone else on this flight is thoroughly agitated. We were delayed in Lexington for 3 hours, which means everyone missed their connecting flights. But ya know, it happens…it’s out of your control and personally I’d rather sit in an airport with a broken plane that is getting fixed over taking that broken plane out for a cruise. Bring on the delays.

Backing Up. Yes, I said Lexington. Why you ask? Well, why not!? Nell and I ventured to horse racing country to take the USAT Level I coaching certification course. Content wise it was better than I anticipated over all…however, holy shit…let me tell you….being in a room with 38 other triathletes …specifically long course triathletes (because let’s be real, they are a whole different breed) was a very "interesting" experience.
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Question: “How do you tell if someone is an IronMan athlete?”
Answer: “You don’t have to….they will tell you.”

There got to be a point each day where it seemed like the flow of ‘questions’ being asked were simply people wanting to state their 1. Personal Race Resume (as if their M-dot branded shirts, bags, hats and jackets were leaving us guessing in the first place) or 2. Show much they know about the latest and greatest coaching techniques, current trends or gadgets. The presenters were pretty amazing and for the most part pulled the rug out when things were heading in that hope-less direction.

Had a few good runs while in town, and got into a pool twice (for free!) Always a win. Traveling without interrupting training too much seems to come easier and easier, it just takes a little homework in advance.

Backing up even more. Because Kentucky only encompasses 3 days of travel, when I have actually been on the go for more than 3 weeks. I am playing a new game this year…it is called it “How much time can you spend in Canada before the year is out?” It’s actually become a favorite game, since RJ and I just seem to have so much damn fun together. I learned quite a bit this time around…..Are you ready for it?

1. Lesson Number One.
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2. It is called “Grey-Bruce Peninsula” for a reason. Days of sunshine over a three week period= 4. Not joking.

3. It can be as grey, wet and cold as it wants to…(See #1) But Port Elgin is still absolutely beautiful. *It’s growing on me quite a bit.

4. A place feels a bit more homey to me when I have the following three things
a. A mom and pop coffee shop that I venture to daily...or close to it.
b. Set bike routes that are the no brainer go-to for certain sessions.
c. Someone who kisses me Good night & Good Morning. #simplethings

5. I am capable of more than I give myself credit for. Surrounding myself with people, friends and family who push me might be the best thing I can do. Thankful for having some pretty amazing people in my life. #FriendsAreTheFamilyYouChoose
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6. My mom speaking in a British accent goes in my “Top 10 greatest things ever” Vault.

7. Despite what the news tells you…there are still kind people out there. The genuinely kind, want to help you, love you, keep you safe, laugh with you, dream with you, and travel with you kind of kind people. When you find friendships or relationships like that, thank your lucky stars.

8. My style of loading the dishwasher AKA the most illogical, chaotic, jam-packed disastrous mess comes from my mom.

9. You make time for the things that matter. Period. And sometimes what matters is a ridiculous night out with your girl.
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10. My “gotta have it, strip down at mach 5 speed to wear it, comfy outfit” is a 5 year old pair of tattered Westfield State College sweat pants and a (literally) 10 year old cut-up, hole in the arm pit shirt from my paddling days in Costa Rica. #NotSexy #DontCare

11. YOU (Well, specially I mean Nell, but yes, you too dearest Blog reader) You deserve everything you have, the opportunities you have taken, the fun adventures you’ve gone on, the love you’ve found all around you and the goals you are working toward….and the best part of all of that is,,,it is really all just beginning. #BF4evaaa #Goals #LifeIsMadeForFun #NeverSettle #EverythingWorksOut #HashtagsMakeItMoreLegit
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12. Getting a good nights sleep is worth more than gold.

13. If the human body is 75% water…my other 25% is likely comprised of almond butter.

On a completely separate side-note shout out: For all you super fast, super active, super awesome athletes in the Boulder area….If you need to get yourself 1. Back to living the Injury Free life or 2. Address any of those little miserable trouble spots that tend to flare up….NOW IS THE TIME! And the guy to get the job done is hands down Tracy Byarlay over at Rally Sport Health & Fitness. #HealingHands #Seriously

Countdown:

Key West Sprint: 2 weeks, 6 days

Quote of the Moment:

As long as you are passionate about your vision, you should keep moving forward
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Helllloooooo Wonderful

If you are looking for the best coffee in Boulder....look no further. Seriously. It's good. AND their support is making a big part of my 2015 race season possible. If you like being active, racing, espresso or me...stop in and say hi to these guys. I can't thank them enough for all they do...#SupportBusinessesThatSupportOurSport
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Here’s to peace, getting ducks in a row, and frequent flyer miles,
Aubs

Posted by AubreyJ 18:33 Archived in USA Tagged me beaches home travel vacation airport friends fun family events bike friendship cycling airports preparation coffee traveling training fitness action strength laughter dreams learning goals inspiration recovery triathlon fantasy motivation choices best_friends progress multisport. caffeine priorities being_strong live_big open_water_swimming swim_bike_run athlete_problems open_water Comments (0)

Double your pleasure. Double your fun.

2 Races. 2 Weeks. 2 Countries.

sunny

Life. Living it and Loving it.

August 9th. I'd been awake for nearing 20 hours, was still on the high of earning a 3rd place age group and top ten overall place at Nationals, and was now in line for Customs in the Toronto airport. "Well...there is this guy here....(huge stupid smile) we met after a race in April, (smile gets bigger) and I'm hear to spend the month with him (giddy sigh of elated happiness)...." This was most certainly not the answer the unassuming customs agent was expecting when she asked "What is the purpose of your visit". I'm sure "vacation" would be been suitable. Anyways. I couldn't help it and for better or worse with a confused blank stare she stamped my passport and let me in.

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First off. I must be honest and admit....I wasn't looking for it, didn't think I wanted it and still don't really know what 'it' is....but looking in the rear-view mirror of this year. Man, am I glad that I stumbled upon 'it' at the St Anthonys race. People often say "things happen when you least expect it" I guess there could be some truth to that statement after all. Who knew, eh?

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Anyways. Back to Nationals. The morning started around 4am, eating a tupperware of white rice and smashed up bananas in a dark hotel room...I mean if that doesn't sound f-ing exhilarating all in itself you don't know what you are missing. Race morning was pretty typical....except for the 2 1/2 hour wait between transition closing and my wave start of 9:25am. I'm usually done racing by that time....but not this morning. Swam well, was able to get out ahead of the messy start and be up around the front group of girls - what a great place to be. Cranked on the bike (The bike leg is soooo my heroin), got into transition to a practically empty bike rack, a huge empowering indicator of where you stand. Run felt good, built throughout. It wasn't anything spectacular but it got the job done. I say it often (almost after every single race) but
"I had never had that much FUN racing before"

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After Nationals there was no time to waste! It was a quick breakdown of the bike, a far too aggressive attempt of scrubbing off my race tattoos (I think I will end up with a scar of my left calf.....) a cup of coffee and off to the airport! A 4pm international flight on race day might have been a little ambitious but we made it happen. Oh did I mention that my 48 hour whirlwind in Milwaukee was another race that I got to do with my Dad? #coolestthingever #he'sprettybadass

Canada is incredible.

Crazy beautiful. Fantastic training.
Great company. Insane laughter.
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The grotto. Water as clear as the Caribbean, except slightly cooler.....48 degrees

Training has been great. Always nice to get away from the routine. I love Boulder and I miss my Rallysport...but man, a get away and spice up to training has been fabulous. Open water swimming is a 10 minute walk, pool and track 5 minutes, cycling along the coast, brick workouts by the beach that end with a farmers market stop, sunset swims and long trail runs.
Everything is right at your fingertips here.....
I did not expect to genuinely love the area, but I can't deny it.

Race #2

Parry Sound Triathlon
The perfect tune-up for Hyvee next weekend. Pretty course, nothing but fun and a new 5k PR (18:58) ...finally. RJ won the race by...I don't even know...a lot! He'll be in good form next weekend for sure. I finished 1st woman and 3rd overall....it's pretty damn fun to beat the boys. Nice little cool down after the run, ate some homemade cookies from heaven, then took a cruise in the 1966 Galaxie convertible to spend the afternoon playing on the worlds longest fresh water beach (Wasaga Beach). Yeah...this life is certainly not for everyone.

Things I Think:

1. Time is the most valuable thing you can give to someone
2. If it isn't fun, don't do it. Life is too short.
3. Small steps forward are still moving you forward. Keep at it.
4. Stop yearning for perfection. Perfect is boring. Embrace the crazy, the complicated and the challenging. #liveboldly

Quote of the moment:

"Ambition is the path to success, persistence is the vehicle you arrive in"

That's all for now.

Cheers to peace, the simple things and sunshine,
Aubs

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Posted by AubreyJ 11:37 Archived in Canada Tagged me beaches home travel vacation airport friends fun family events bike friendship cycling airports preparation coffee traveling training fitness action strength laughter dreams learning goals inspiration recovery triathlon fantasy motivation choices best_friends progress multisport. caffeine priorities being_strong live_big open_water_swimming swim_bike_run athlete_problems open_water Comments (0)

Racing Ghosts & Near Death Laugther

sunny 90 °F

It feels very strange to be writing an entry from a place other than sandwiched between two large men in the middle seat somewhere on the back-half of a Southwest flight. Got to L-O-V-E having boarding position C48 every. damn. flight. Anyways.

Massachusetts

Swim openwater, ride bikes, run track, run trails, boston harbor, american authors / the script / one republic show, grilling out, playing with puppies, holding hands, mrs. murphy coffee, little sisters, staff meetings, Nonnie's home-cooking, riding the "T", hugs from Nick Davis, lay on the beach, briefly trespass to enjoy the lazy life of the rich and famous, long walks on the beach (cliche as it is), the beauty of small town Southwick, gossip with the girls, sushi, red wine, more red wine, lobster chowda, the worlds best salad, following your heart and working toward your dreams.

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Cohasset Race

Great weekend for the crew. RJ was 2nd pro, I was first amateur, Dad was 3rd in his age-group and Nick was 2nd in his age group. Not a bad morning.

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It started a bit interesting though.....at swim start for the 2nd wave I noted lots of women around me a wearing caps with their hair sticking out, still in flip-flops, race number tattoos were backwards and upside down. Being a little unsure I asked what wave this was, and got the bright eyed blue-bell answer of "GOODMORNING! This is the Beginner Wave. It's for novice racers. This is my very first triathlon! Are you nervous too!?" Uhhhh. Oh Shit. There was some confusion at check-in and I was given a random number, ended up being assigned to rack with the 45 year old men and apparently a start with the newbies. My actual wave of EA's and pros had gone off 10 minutes prior. It was no doubt the friendliest open water swim I had ever done, zero body contact with anyone. This brings me back to the title "Racing with Ghosts" After half way through the bike and catching the back half of the first wave, I was on my own. Nobody in sight behind or up front. The run course was just as lonely. It was a good mental game of staying motivated and focused knowing my competition was out there..somewhere....working hard and moving fast. Better splits than last year so no complaints. But the icing was being able to share the day with family and friends.

The east coast has a huge chunk of my heart on reserve and getting to spend time on the shore is priceless. But it is great to be back to the 303 where I truly belong.

So this brings us through June. (Sometimes life just gets crazy, busy, fun, and there isn't time to blog. Deepest apologies. Sarcasm)
Next post will be much more exciting.....much. more. exciting.

Quote of the moment:

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Here's to peace, laughing until it hurts and then laughing more,
Aubrey

Posted by AubreyJ 19:14 Archived in USA Tagged home nature travel colorado friends family swimming massachusetts coffee running laughter quotes learning goals triathlon east_coast cohasset open_water Comments (0)

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