The past couple of weeks have been a blur. I’ve been recovering from what has been the toughest feat I’ve accomplished yet – the Augusta half Ironman. 70.3 miles of terrain. Swimming, biking, and running. Did I mention the high was 96 degrees that day?

I had a few goals for this race when I signed up for it back in March and decided to commit to it:

  1. Keep myself moving through the summer.
  2. Get myself back in the pool and back on my road bike.
  3. Have a challenge unlike any I’ve faced before. (And it was SO!)
  4. Enjoy it.
  5. Complete it.
  6. Reclaim a less than positive memory I was holding of supporting a friend (someone I’d dated) there a few years back.
  7. Not kill myself nor incur any injuries in the process or the race.

After ALL of that effort:

  • The hours and hours and days of training (especially when I really wasn’t feeling like it).
  • The back and forth argument in my brain between one shoulder and the other (quit it, you don’t need to do this / no, don’t quit, you can do this, this is good).
  • The effort needed through the really heavy training (long rides, long runs, lots of time going back and forth in a pool, sometimes sharing a lane and getting kicked by someone).
  • The effort needed to maintain a challenging training schedule through a very busy time for me in my business (Rebranding, making the leap from solopreneur to business owner full time) as well as a busy time in my life (healing myself through travel and new experiences, giving my mom experiences that I’ve wanted to for years and helping her to heal and move forward).

I’m REALLY happy to say that:

  1. I kept myself moving through the summer.
  2. I had some really cool experiences changing up my schedule with getting a YMCA membership and getting back in the pool as well as riding my bike for 50 miles, the farthest I had ever gone (until race day!!).
  3. I looked a challenge I’ve never faced before in the eyeballs and basically told it to F off. I wasn’t going to allow it to scare me. (Although it had, leading up to it!) But now, fear left the vicinity.
  4. I repeat, fear left the vicinity. Leading up to race day, I had my memory of how I had an anxiety attack (on a much shorter swim) just a month before in Luray for the sprint triathlon. Race day morning, I waited for my start and watched the others jump into the water and DECIDED I wanted to have FUN with it. I was there, ready. I wasn’t about to back down. And by golly, I was GOING TO ENJOY IT. I didn’t care how long it took me (07:39:01); I was going to have my fun with it. And, I accomplished that. You can see in my photos! I am SO pleased. 😁
  5. I COMPLETED it in 7 hours and 39 minutes. It was a long day, a very hot day, as I hadn’t started my run until 2 in the afternoon. I finished around 4:30. Water stops became double-fisters as I poured one cup over my head to keep cool and drank the other to stay hydrated.
  6. I had an amazing time and took back Augusta for my own happiness. I almost broke down when I was setting my bike up in the transition area, but then Kashmir by Led Zepplin came on the speakers and I walked out like a BOSS. I’m on a pseudo-mission to take back some memories and make new ones and this one was a success. Life is too short to avoid things/places/activities/memories that hurt. I appreciate looking my pains in the face and transforming them. I refuse to run. I will fight. I believe it’s worth it. I want the best life in ALL areas of life.
  7. NO injuries or abnormal aches/pains!! YES.

For those interested, I highly recommend this race: the staff, the volunteers, the crowd support, and the entire town support was incredible. I hear it’s not always 96 degrees in late September. Sometimes that is just what you get on a race day.

It was the coolest having my Sherpa and Roo at the start, the transitions and ride, and the finish.

My heart has grown. ♥️

May you have dreams, goals, aims, etc that stretch and grow you farther than you thought you could ever go. It’s such a cool way to experience life. Maybe it’s an athletic event, maybe it’s a project you’re not sure you can complete, maybe it’s a new skill you’ve wanted to learn but haven’t pulled the trigger on, maybe it’s upgrading your career or business to the next level.

The chase can be a pain in the ass sometimes, but it’s SO worth it, and the catch is incredible.

Thank you again to everyone who supported me in the process, checked in with me asking about my training, reached out when the race was drawing close, and messaged me before, during, and after. I really thought of each of you as I was grinding out those tough hot ass miles on the run. YOU MAKE A DIFFERENCE. Likely more than you know.

Much love ♥️

Aubrey Eicher
owner, The Well

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