“The job isn’t done until you say thank you.”
That, my friends, is pure Danielle wisdom (Danielle as in Danielle LaPorte). And that simple sentence is the driver behind this post—this post that I want so badly to write, this post that wants to come out on the page, this post that desperately wants to be shared with the world, this post that wants to snuggle into the tiniest ball and hide forever. Alas, no value will come from hiding forever. It’s time to say thank you.
Last year held a lot of promise for me as a triathlete. I had a new coach. I had a whole community of inspiring teammates. I’d just launched my own coaching business. It was time for me to fly, I thought.
It wasn’t. It was time for me to learn. It was time for me to grow. It was time for me to build.
I was diagnosed with a stress fracture a few days before nationals. It hurt physically, but the emotional pain was even more intense. I’d been going. I’d been fighting. I’d been trying to fly. And all of a sudden it all came to a halt. I was devastated. I grieved. Yes, it could have been much worse, but that doesn’t mean it wasn’t worthy of grieving. The loss of any dream is worthy of grief. Grieving is a way for us to process loss. It’s a necessary process.
My injury led me to a cabin in the woods where I snuggled with my little family. We hiked. We experienced the beauty that Maine offers in the summer. We reconnected deeply. It was a time of grief and love and gratitude. I wouldn’t give it back for anything.
My injury led me back to the pool and to Bermuda where I planned to swim a 5K race (the race itself was cancelled due to a hurricane…instead I swam 5K with a group of new friends). I connected with people who didn’t think of me as an injured triathlete, but as a swimmer. I found my way back to my roots, back to my love of water.
My injury led me away from triathlon, the sport I’ve always said is more than a hobby. I felt disconnected from the sport. I felt deeply connected to people. I felt connected to struggle and to growth.
My injury led me to physical therapy where I regained my trust in my body. I rebuilt my love for my body. And I got what I had wanted for years—time to improve my run form and strength.
I was filled with gratitude.
Gradually, I began to run again. Every step was a thank you. Every stride was filled with love.
And then I felt pain. It came out of nowhere. A voice in the back of my head told me it was a stress fracture, but that couldn't be possible.
This time, my grief was brief. I accepted where I was. I’d done this before. I would do it again.
This was just another opportunity to learn and grow.
I learned about my overall health. I learned about foot shape and foot function. I learned about patience and trust. I learned about fear and I learned about courage. And I learned about love.
And all I have to say now is thank you. Thank you to the universe for sending me on this path. Thank you to my body for teaching me so many lessons. Thank you for the opportunity to become a stronger, more efficient and more resilient runner. Thank you to my family and friends for supporting me.
Thank you, life, for showing me deep love. Thank you.