Sometimes you need a reminder of who you are and why you do what you do…today I got that reminder! I will be quite honest, it has been much harder to train this year for the Ironman. Not because training has been harder, but getting myself out to train has been harder. Last year I was out to prove something…that the tumor didn’t get the best of me…and I did. In less than a year I went from lying in a hospital bed to the finish line of Ironman Chattanooga. It was my mission and my focus and I was seeing visible progress all along the way with huge milestones…like swimming again and walking without crutches and finally getting to run again. After Chattanooga I contemplated what was next and for me I naturally turned to Ironman Florida, the race that I was originally training for when we found the tumor…I wanted that race back. But then I changed jobs and was in a lot of pain again and didn’t train like I should have for the half iron in the spring and then got hurt again and lost the fire I had last year. So when I got sick again last weekend (and we are not talking sniffles sick, like fever in bed sick), I was seriously considering pulling out of the race. I talked to the other half of #teamnoname and told her what was going on in my head, said I was going to take some time to figure it out. She was very supportive, as she always is, and said she would support me either way. I talked to my coach who posed a lot of questions and ultimately said it was my body and my decision but he was there as well to support me either way. I was struggling with the idea that this illness was my body’s way of telling me this was all too much…instead of recognizing that my body was strong enough to fight most of the worst of it off leaving me with only a few of the typical symptoms to deal with. When I sat down with another friend today she reminded me of what I already knew…that I lost the fire, the fight for this wasn’t there like it was last year. It’s hard to go up from the high of last year but it’s time to stop going down for sure! When I signed up for this race it was to take back from the tumor what it had taken from me, but it was always meant to be more than that–it’s to take back for all giant cell tumor patients what this tumor took from them–it’s a non-discriminating tumor and it will take all it wants that’s in its way from the bone itself to our peace in everyday life as we all continue to worry about the possibility of a re-occurrence. I remind people when things get tough to remember your why…well this is me remembering my why and giving myself the well deserved kick in the butt to start moving forward again. I will be sharing some stories of others who have had giant cell tumors in the weeks leading up to the race so we all know more about my why, but for now know that this fight is personal and I’m back in it until the end.