The Triathlon

May 6, 2012 at 10:30 pm | Posted in Grief | 25 Comments
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This weekend I swam, biked and ran. My only real goal was to finish in one piece and hopefully have some fun along the way. As I raced I realized that grief (or my experiences with it so far) is a lot like a triathlon.

Getting into the cool water is shocking and sudden. Keep moving – no matter what chaos or fogginess has set in, the only solution is forward motion.

“There is nothing left we can do for Jake.”
“Baby is not breathing.”

Next, there is bawling and bargaining. After the shock wears off a bit there are lots and lots of tears.

I would have traded places with Jake and Sawyer if it was humanly possible. I stared at the hospital walls and pleaded that it was me not them.

There are downhills and some coasting but there is always a hill up ahead. Shifting gears helps at times but not always.

Lastly, reality sets in but it is not the same reality as before – the shock has turned to sadness and the bawling has become bittersweetness. The bargaining is done.

My goal is still the same, to finish in one piece and hopefully have some fun along the way.


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  1. Love the post 😉

  2. You nailed it. Grief is uphill, downhill, coasting, and hopefully ending up in one piece with some fun along the way. But if you think about it Lanie, isn’t that what life is anyway?

    I have come to realize that grief is profound – as is life. There are a lot of lessons, a lot of tears, a lot of laughter – hopefully not too many regrets and always, always, the love.

    Keep swimming and coming up for air – it is all anyone can ask of us.


    • Yes – that is what life is – uphill, downhill & coasting, grief just gives it all a different more intense perspective. Thank you and take care.

  3. ps. Congratulations on completing a Triathlon – that is an amazing accomplishment!!! Good Job Friend. Good Job.

    – Linda

  4. First of all…congrats on finishing a triathlon. Quite an accomplishment my dear friend. Second, it may never have been a goal, but boy have you touched a lot of people by telling the story of your journey. And finally…like Linda said…keep swimming… it’s like Dory in Finding Nemo…”You know what you gotta do…just keep swimming, swimming, swimming”.” Here’s to you my dear. – Amy

    • Yes – I will keep swimming, swimming, swimming. Thank you & thank you (for the first of all and the second). xoxo

  5. Oh wow, I have goosebumps and am so proud of you for finishing that triathlon and surviving the one you continue to go through each day.

  6. You have done so many things that most folks think they can never do. Yet you have the strength, determination, and fortitude to push beyond the exhaustion and pain. You have done an amazing job and have inspired me to keep moving forward and pushing past the limits. I think our children are proud of us when they see how hard we work because they know how much we feel. You should be proud of yourself too! I am.

    God Bless…

    • You are right sometimes we are stronger than we think we are (or would like to be. . .). Thank you so much – I really appreciate it. Take care.

  7. Lanie, you are amazing and an inspiration my friend. Congratulations on finishing the triathlon.

    • Thank you so much! Actually, I could not have done it without your bike :-).

  8. As Dory famously said, just keep swimming, just keep swimming…! Good for you, you are amazing!

    • I will just keep swimming – thank you so much.

  9. Good job completing a triathlon! I’m impressed. Your honest, beautiful writing educates me and hopefully makes me a better friend to those who have traveled the same path as you.

    • Thank you so much – I am so glad that I am able to help. Take care.

  10. I had no doubt that you’d finish the triathalon–or anything that you set your mind to doing. Congratulations! As for the harder parts of life that are out of your control–you will always keep your head above water as long as you’re not afraid to let friends and family throw you a life saver every once in a while. They’ll want to be there for you!

    • I am so thankful for the life savers. Thank you!

  11. Lanie – That is a wonderful description of the process that consumes you and of your persistence. May the triathlon of life have the same outcome as the one you participated in last weekend. Your goal to get through and have some fun along the way is reasonable and deserved and my wish is that you find your way to it right about NOW. Best of luck. Cornelia

  12. Beautiful analogy Lanie. Glad you did the tri! Xoxo

  13. Thanks so much. I had a track coach once that would tell us “whatever does not kill you will make you stronger” (maybe someone else besides my track coach said that. . .). xoxo

  14. Congratulations on finishing the tri! You are truly an inspiring woman. I admire you for not only swimming but caring so deeply about those around you and writing and sharing your feelings! Sending hugs!

  15. I found your blog through google. I lost my fiancee and fellow Ironman competitor a month ago. I now have a month to go before the race (which I decided to continue on with even though I feel physically weak). I was touched by your story. I hope you know that you are not alone. Peace be with you.

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