You can likely assume that I have been thinking a lot about my book. Of course I have to consider how to market it, how to sell it, how to launch it, etc…

One of the most exciting things I have been able to reconsider as I hold Far Better in my hands, and prepare to share it with the world, is the question: 

Why did I write it?

I have always dreamt of writing a book. As a young person I hand wrote many (mostly plagiarized) versions of my favorities—takes on trendy series like The Babysitter’s Club and Sweet Valley High. As I grew up I was positively influenced and encouraged in my writing by my favorite English teachers. I believed I had a story to share, I just didn’t know what…. until…

Triathlon saved my life. 

Okay- I know this sounds really dramatic. Many of us have heard the most amazing stories of endurance sports anchoring recovering addicts or giving hope to amputees or mentally diverse individuals. People have been pulled out of the trenches of depression, anxiety, despair, and disease by training for their first 5K or sprint triathlon. Some have even narrowly avoided prison, or even suicide. 

Lost people have experienced hope and joy. Lonely people, a sense of belonging. 

I completely understand why almost no one would be able to understand how triathlon saved my life, or comprehend what needed saving. I have been absolutely blessed in so many ways. I know this, and can see, feel, and understand my inborn privilege. And although I am not immune to cultural messaging, nor have I completely avoided pain, suffering, despair, I have been fortunate that my life has mainly been comprised of a series of my own choices. 

But, triathlon did save my life. So, how? 

I lived my life for years unaware of the fact that my life needed “saving.” And, maybe the better word is awakening. After completing Ironman Wisconsin in 2017 I had a massive “a-ha” moment. I realized that although I had been experiencing the joys and sorrows of life, including my faith journey, marriage, motherhood, and triathlon, I had been living with an alarmingly small amount of presence. After that race in 2017, I started to wake up to this reality. I realized I had lived much of my life reacting to my emotions, instead of fully feeling them. I was seemingly confident, but led more by ego and people pleasing. I loved deeply, but since I didn’t know myself I didn’t understand how to live it out. I had been hustling, harried, somewhat disassociated, afraid, and living with a scarcity mindset. Even though I desired deep love and connection, I looked back and saw ways I had unintentionally hurt myself and others through actions based in fear and selfishness. 

I was simultaneously living a “good life,” (and my behavior was definitely not all bad), but after that race in 2017 I felt a strong desire to shift more into the new way of living I had been dabbling in for years. Since I had already started the process, I knew that I didn’t need to be “fixed.” Instead, I decided to get on a very intentional path to know and love myself far better. I believed that if I showed up as love, not trying to love, I would connect more to others. I would stop taking on a victim mindset. I would be able to know that the actions of others are not personal. Or, maybe not “stopping” entirely, but at least I would better understand myself and my triggers.

Triathlon took the hugeness of life and broke it into easier to digest pieces. My faith informs me that God put it, and the amazing people I have had the opportunity to connect with, in my life for this reason. It has not become my “god,” (always a tricky fine line to ride, for sure). Instead, it gave me a space to connect with myself on a very deep level to show up as the person I am intended to be. Training clears the cobwebs and slows the spinning of my mind. Racing challenges me to practice the things I am learning—vulnerability, owning judgmental thoughts and insecurities, fear, etc. It exposes my flaws and the ways I have, and had, failed—continually teaching me. It also gives me some ways to measure my progress in this journey through joyful success. 

Bringing others together through the gym, our team, and my coaching has furthered these lessons. It reminds me of my own humanness. It gives me a space to be the fullest version of me, imperfections and all, by connecting me to other amazing people as they exit their comfort zones to expose their own strengths to shortcomings (and all in between).

Triathlon saved my life by leading me away from a one-dimensional, self-serving existence. It taught me how to find and define purpose. It opened doors in my mind and heart to experience the hugeness at which I feel emotions. To understand my triggers. To be able to own my imperfections. To apologize for the ways I have hurt people. To forgive others. 

I am more able to feel negative emotions, but I still default back into old patterns of behavior. Thankfully, when I pull myself out of these holes, I do it with grace and understanding. I try to own it without re-entering a shame cycle. I share it with safe people, who I believe know my heart well enough to believe that although I am flawed, I intend to love. 

So, I wrote this book to share this story. To give you hope if you are floating through life. To encourage you to find your own part of this huge world that breaks it down for you to learn more about how to love and have compassion for yourself and others. And, to provide some of my work that I have personally had success with, and have seen the benefits in my coached athletes. To give you some ways you can learn from me. 

Whew– this was an emotional one to write! But, I am here to be real. As an a bit of an aside— if I hurt you and haven’t apologized, I am likely not even aware of the enormity of what I did to do so. You can message me anytime… or, maybe I don’t want to open up this can of worms? 😉 (Seriously, I do)

And before I leave you, I also want to give you a soft introduction to the Far Better Project Community— free to anyone who buys a book. We will create stretch goals—together— and then use the principles from my book to get to know ourselves far better through the journey. Details announced later this week!

It doesn’t have to be triathlon, but find a way open yourself up to learning who you are so you can show up wholly in this world. I promise you it is worth it.