there and back again

My annual trip to Kona, Hawaii for the Ironman World Championship has come and gone. It’s becoming as regular in my life as Christmas, and, after four years, starting to feel like a family reunion. This must be how members of triathlon’s “old guard” feel when they return to the lava fields and village drive stretching out from the ancient Banyan Tree.

I didn’t take pictures of acai bowls or sunsets or swimming in the aquarium, though I did enjoy all of these things. I soaked up the week, worked a lot, and trained a little. I’m happy to be home.

Kon Hawaii triathlon

Riding with Marni, one of my faithful writers, early in the week.

The culmination of the biggest week of my year, career-wise, always leaves me in a lull. I’m partly relieved, and partly reflective. So here are some “Kona takeaways” from my fourth time visiting the spiritual home of triathlon. Enjoy.

-Spend long enough in any “industry” and it will start to feel like an extended family.
-Always make time to go off the beaten path.

Kona Hawaii bike triathlon

Backroads, coffee farms, and old Hawaii with Beth and Kate = highlight of the week.

-Sometimes the most unexpected people end up being the ones you feel most comfortable with.
-Hard work will pay off, even if it takes a few years. (Ahem, Rinny)
-Never leave home for a week without an Aeropress and electric kettle.
-Never pass up a place that serves kombucha on tap.

Kona Hawaii Daylight Mind coffee company

The newest (and best) coffee place in town.

-You can make Coach’s Oats in a hotel coffee pot.
-Conversation is the best antidote to tension.
-8-seater planes aren’t nearly as scary as they seem.

Kona, Hawaii

-Next time someone asks me “how much longer are you going to do this, Jen,” I’ll tell them the story of Harriet Anderson, 78, who finished the race just three minutes short of the cut-off. Not only that, she did so after crashing her bike at mile 95, and breaking her aerobars. At the awards banquet, the woman who looks like she’s in her late 60’s, had this to say about the crash: “I had a few bruises, that’s all.”

Kona Hawaii

-Accept your current level of fitness, but train to break through it.
-Do something you love every day.

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