We Keep on Pushing

Well, I ended my last post with hopes of coming here today and telling you about how awesome this past weekend's race was. But I will remain honest with you, otherwise there is no point in sharing my experiences if they are not true to my life. Most of the time I am rolling through life, seeing the good that God has placed all around me. But this week has been rough.


I am going to start by saying I did get third place and that did help my world ranking. Which are all great things. I had great competitors this past weekend and they pushed me as always in the best way. They did great and I appreciate the push that they give me.


I went into this race feeling the best I have ever felt and in the best physical condition that I have been in since being deployed. I was roughly 20lbs lighter for this race than I was last year. I have been eating clean and avoiding all delicious treats and alcohol since the New Year. I felt fast, lean and strong, but that wasn't enough.


The morning a day before the race, the race officials called off all races that were taking place the day before my race. There was a rough storm that came in and tornado watches were issued and the rain and wind was rough for part of the day. This made our race day times continuously change and we all know how that goes. People are all talking about the "what if's" that the day could potentially hold and word was being changed hour by hour. At one point we were not even sure we were going to swim due to the cold conditions of the day. But we did.


By the time I finished the swim (which was the best swim of my life), Tes had told me I was 4+ minutes behind the lead. Thats okay, I knew I would close some of that time on the bike....But I didn't. By the time I came in on the bike I was prepared to hear I had closed more time, and disappointed when Tes told me yet again 4+ minutes behind the lead. I took off on my pushrim only to flip it on the first sharp turn of the course. I was able to get myself back up with just a minor cut.


By the time I finished the race my time was 5 minutes and 12 seconds behind the lead and 2:01 behind second place. I am better than this. Don't get me wrong, I love the competition and getting third place was a great finish as far as positions go. I love that I have to work for it, and it doesn't just come easy (all the time). But losing by 5 minutes has got me questioning how I could be that far behind, especially when I went into this feeling so strong.


The race had been pushed back far enough that as soon as I crossed the finish line we grabbed all my equipment, said good-bye to the people who we luckily ran into on the way out and walked it all about a half mile to where our rental car was parked. We made it back to the airport in just enough time to get checked in (praise God for no troubles at check in) and we got to our gate right at preboarding. Tes was able to grab us 3 launchable sized packs of prosciutto and mozzarella to split for dinner. It was now 6pm and the last meal we had was a bowl of oatmeal at 7am.


I know that this is just a set back, and I know there is a greater picture than what I am seeing. It is just hard to sometimes see through the storm. As a family we sacrifice so much. There are times we cant go on vacations or there are camps and events my children miss out on and as understanding as my family is I know this career weighs on them. If we are going to sacrifice I just want it to be worth something.



As I have mentioned before, I thank you for supporting me. I thank you for bearing with me as I struggle a little with this, and we will see the day that comes when the skies are blue again and the storm clouds roll away. What fun would it be if there was no challenge, nothing to work for or towards?


-Zach