my good Saturday turned into a great Sunday and this, my blogosphere friends, is why -
i received an email a couple of days prior from Jennifer saying she and her family would be in town and that she would really like to meet me in person and of course i said yes, that would be great! i was so excited to finally get to meet her, and a little nervous if truth be told. i mean all of our communication so far had been conducted through email. our relationship started through a blog post comment and has progressed quite nicely through that means. now i was going to finally get to meet her face to face and i just prayed that she would like me, prayed that she would think she had made a good decision to sponsor me and the team, prayed that i would hold up to the standards of a good person in her eyes. i have no idea why i was concerned - concern for anything ended up being null and void the moment i walked up and we hugged...
the day started off with a nice trail run through Marion Bear Park with Guru and Greg at 830. i love this run. it is a true trail with loose rocks, falling leaves, tree lined paths and fresh air. the knees held up pretty well for the 4.5 miles but i knew that tacking on an extra 2 might be pushing it, so i opted to stop and stretch at the cars and then so did everyone else - seems as though we're all nursing one injury or another. it was a nice brisk pace, and i was happy. it felt great to run again, especially on uneven ground of the literal sense instead of the figurative sense i have been maneuvering through lately. a great start to the morning.
i followed that up with a quick change of clothes and a drive over to Mission Beach to have lunch with Coach Brian. we caught up on life in general and talked about my goals and drive for the season. we touched on the magnitude of what i want to be able to accomplish next year and sort out a game plan to get my knees healthy and back to full mobility. we talked about his crazy busy schedule and his rough day that just so happened to also be his birthday. i'd just like to insert a bit of something here - he is a good man and you don't find that sort of thing everyday. he cares a lot about his friends and his family. he cares about his clients, he cares about himself and he cares about all of this with great balance and clarity. i admire him and what he stands for, who he helps and the athlete that he is. i'm so glad to have him as a coach but even more so to be able to count him as a friend. he sometimes stands as my sounding board and often times puts me in my place when i start to get ahead of myself. i talk about what a great person and coach he is and i mean it - i couldn't have done Longhorn in the time i did without his guidance and i wouldn't be able to do this next year's schedule without more of the same. i am grateful to have met him when i did and i feel blessed to have his support in all of the endeavors i have loaded onto my plate. we ate - he much, much more than i - and had a grand time of it - or i did at least. a great afternoon.
i left the restaurant and immediately called Jennifer, as promised, to stop by for a bit and meet her and her family. i got there at 2:15 ish. i didn't get home for the day until midnight. right away i felt like family. it was amazing to be so welcomed into a home with a group of people who had never even spoken to me on the phone much less laid eyes on me. we talked for hours about everything - training, Barney Butter, my brother, her children - our lives in general. at some point everyone decided to go for a run and because i had already done mine for the day and didn't have any gear in my car, i decided to go see Chris and hopefully sneak in a nap of some kind. this only happened after i was asked to please come back for dinner and spend some more time with the Barney family! so i did - of course. and it was the best time. we had wine, ate a fantastic meal of healthy proportions and visited and talked some more. it was just so natural, effortless - all around enjoyable company. Her daughters are just beautiful and seeing the dynamics of each of their little personalities meshed with the other's - it was just a really amazing and loving environment to be in. i had the most fun and never once wished i was anywhere else. i was even sad to leave. i haven't quite felt unconditionally welcomed like that before in a place where no one really knows me, but i did Sunday. its sort of hard to wrap my mind around. Jennifer found my blog, we became buddies over email, she generously offered to sponsor Team Barney Butter in order to promote health and athleticism through triathlon and now i find she and her family are even more caring and giving in person than i could have imagined. a PERFECT end to the day.
so yes, i am a very blessed girl. and even though i received some news that really sort of shook me to the core this weekend, i have people in my life that i can't thank enough - mom, dad, Bri, Iris, CB, Jennifer, Erik, Roo to name a few - that have taken the time with me, inspired me and given to me so unselfishly with absolutely no agenda or payment in return except my thanks and appreciation - and of course, good natured BS along the way which is only something katie b can provide in an ongoing basis ;) the hard times aren't over, nothing will ever be just as i think it needs to be, but i am realizing more than ever that i am honored to be where i am at this very moment, basking in the glory of good friends, insightful mentors and the thing i choose to call "God's" love.
and no, i am not a religious freak. i don't even go to church on a regular basis - although i am Catholic by upbringing and choose to still lump myself in with that group, my view and relationship of what i choose to call God is very personal and unique to me - so don't be offended or over joyed at my choice of words, just be and the rest will follow just as it should :)