Challenge Roma Triathlon (70.3) – race recap

This is my 3rd restart for writing… I have so many things in my heart that need to come out but I’m struggling to articulate what needs to be said. It’s not a matter of what I want to say. It’s embracing the frustration of wanting to say something and experiencing a disconnect between my heart, mind, and fingers.

I started off with 600 words on a piece titled “Intimacy.Sex.Love.” and I’m pleased with the words but not ready to hit publish. It’s not the right time because one of the parts is not resolved in my heart.

Ironically my entire blog is about unresolved concepts in my heart and this piece gives me pause?!

The message that is in my heart is a heavy one.. It’s my final acceptance and now starting a grieving process. Sunday was the first time that I uttered some words that I didn’t think would ever slip from my lips. I assumed that I would feel guilty but instead, I felt as if a weight was lifted off my shoulders.

“This race was to honor the death of my biological father and biological brother.”

When I expected a wave of emotions, I was actually greeted with a wave of calm. It was unexpected but appreciated. I had finally accepted the death of 2 people that once meant so much to me. They are still in the physical world but their power over me is somehow less. I am no longer a tool to make them feel normal. I am no longer a toy they can play with. I am no longer connected to them in any way, physically, mentally, spiritually… or emotionally. I’m kind of lying about the emotional part but today, I’m completely detached.

Is it cold to utter such words?

Perhaps. Yes. If this was a normal situation then my words would be harsh. My family is anything but normal. My biological father was abusing me for over a decade. I’m not willing to do the inner child work to explore if the abuse was earlier than that. I’m comfortable accepting the terror that I’ve acknowledged and just give credit to my mommabear for doing her best to shield me from the abuse growing up. I am not at liberty to share her story as it’s well, HER STORY. I will comment that abusers do not just wake up one morning and change behaviour. It is abusive from the start. The only thing that changes is the target. It’s conditioning and breaking you down to a point where you question your value to the world. It’s deceitful, heartbreaking and causes you to accept behaviour [from others] that you shouldn’t but in my head, that’s all I’m worthy of because it’s what my father taught me to accept.

I was never a daughter. I was a tool. According to him, others viewed me as property. Others would value the space between my legs before valuing the space between my ears. I’m oversimplifying a massively complex topic… It’s a hard concept to accept. It’s heartbreaking that the messaging comes from a parent. Someone that was 50% responsible for creating me. It’s not acceptable. So are my words harsh? Absolutely NOT. They are justifiable. They are raw. They are honest. They are heartbreaking. They are empowering.

The battles in my head during my race in Italy were letting go of family. Freeing myself. It was emotional on so many levels. It was causing low vibrations and making the race so much harder than it needed to be. When I wanted to just hold my breath and sink into a swell (open water swim), I powered through. I used the cold water to bring me into the present moment. When I was on the bike and my speed dropped from 32 kph to 28 kph to 26 kph.. to 22 kph… I had to reach to the depth of my soul to snap back into the present moment. I wanted to jump off course and just belt out an ugly cry but I masked my pain with a smile and greeted fellow cyclists with a ray of light. When I finally reached the run… this is where the real battle began. With every left turn, my body would tell my mind that I was on a track. This meant that Dad was there. I had to remind my heart that I was no longer 18 years old. I didn’t need to search for Dad’s voice yelling “Dig in Jess” or “Don’t let the bastard win” or “Empty the tank” !!! Growing up, Dad was usually on the field shouting (and taking pictures) during a race. I was a sprinter with special talents in the 200m and 400m. I was honored with the position to anchor the 4×400 relay in both high school and college. My inner strength [power] came from the cheers from the crowd and a fear of disappointing Dad. This race (in Italy) was me pushing through 12 years of this concept. It was convincing myself that Dad isn’t real. He was supporting me because I was an extension of him. It wasn’t because he loved me as a daughter, it was because I made him look like a good father.

b073c225-661f-4cdf-8de1-9c91244e1251I nearly broke down during the last 7km. I hit my threshold of holding myself together. Physically, I was unscathed. Mentally, I was holding on. Emotionally, I was a trainwreck. I know that my guardian angels were with me. They even presented me with an Earth Angel. An Italian woman that I ran with (bib 340). At 7km left, she caught me looking at a boat in the marina and (in Italian) told me to focus on the road in front of me. Hand gestures were my best friend at this exact moment. She continued this messaging until 4km left and then said that we can hug at the finish line. Bless her heart. She was the message that my heart needed to hear. She was the angel whispering magic back into my existence.

“This race was to honor the death of my biological father and biological brother.”

I redefined family. During those last few KM, I had accepted that it was time to honor the death of people that had been causing me harm for so many years. When they could choose to be anyone in the world, they chose to be abusive to me. They choose to be monsters rather than family. They chose to be hurtful. They chose to be that way. Their choice. THEIR choice!

My responsibility is to accept this decision and let go. Once and for all, I needed to accept the reality of who they are as opposed to who I hoped they would be.

I was honoring the death of my biological father.

I was honoring the death of my biological brother.

I was honoring my strength and my internal messaging that I am worthy. I am worthy of love. I am worthy of being loved. I am worthy of existing. Not just existing but thriving. I am worthy of being celebrated.

The family that I let go made space for family that I needed. Family that my soul needed. Family that my heart longed for. The only thing missing was my mommabear at the finish line. I guess I’ll just have to kidnap her for my next race. She has no idea how much strength I draw from her love for me. She’s absolutely magical.

Crossing the finish line at Challenge Roma 70.3 triathlon was the pinnacle of being an abused family member to being a healing person. It doesn’t make sense but it does at the same time. All things are possible with love. Love for self. Love for others. Love for life.

My Ironman journey started as a way to make someone else feel better. Check out the background here: Why Ironman? (#WhyITri)

#WhyIWrite #DomesticViolence #MentalWellness #JourneyToPeace #WhyITri #SelfLove #IamWorthy #RaceRecap #ChallengeRoma #Italy #Family

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