So I meant to post after the first really cool thing happened, but as days passed I was like, “Well, maybe that can wait.” But then the other really cool thing happened this past Friday, and so I decided it was a sign from the multiverse that I ought to write about both of them already, if only so I can share my excitement in a contained and thoughtful way i.e., more than just turning to Brian and going, “Holy shit, I can’t believe this is happeninggggg!”
The first thing that happened was that I was selected to become an ambassador for Coeur Sports for their 2016 team. This means I’ll be racing in their kit and connecting with some seriously impressive triathletes and runners, while also having a wider platform to both promote my belief in sports as a path to female empowerment AND my unwavering support of woman-owned athletics companies.
I’ve been a fan of Coeur Sports for quite some time now, ever since Keara, a local elite runner who is also the Kennedy Law Racing team mom (aka the woman who gets shit done), pointed me in the direction of their tri shorts with the seamless chamois. My team kit had been chafing my ladybits into steak tartare, and Keara was like, “Here, other girls on the team are wearing these, I promise you’ll love them.”
I haven’t had a saddle sore or any chafing since, and I’ve worn these puppies for metric centuries. The Coeur ladies have nicknamed these shorts their “no angry kitty” shorts, and it’s true. My kitty is now quite happy as a result of these shorts, thank you very much.
But as much as I love their products, what really made me fall in love with Coeur Sports is their ethos. They are vocal supporters of 50 Women to Kona. They sponsor some really outstanding pro athletes. I started reading the company blog and adored posts like this and like this. It was clear we were kindred spirits.
I love what they stand for and what they do, so when the application period opened, I decided to go for it. And much to my screaming delight – and the consternation of every other living creature in the house (Brian included) – I was selected. I couldn’t be prouder to be part of this team and to rep such an great brand.
I’ll still train and race with Kennedy Law Racing, but instead of wearing the green and black kit, I’ll wear the Team Coeur kit with the logos of KLR and KLR’s associated bike shop on it. I’m gonna be so fancy, y’all. *dances around*
Okay, so that brings me to the second amazing thing, which just happened last week at the KLR year-end party. The team has grown a huge amount over the last year, and on Friday we all crammed into the bike shop to drink beer and wine, eat some food, and chat with our teammates while dressed in something other than sweat-encrusted Lycra.
The centerpiece of the night is an awards ceremony, which kicked off with Park giving special jackets to every member who completed a full iron distance triathlon that year. The team had 23 members getting jackets! Among them was Brian, who killed it at Great Floridian Triathlon on a hot and windy day in October. I was so proud of all of them, as I know how much heart and soul they all poured into their training and racing, and it was wonderful to see them be recognized for their efforts.
Then next came the individual awards. One of the first awards went to Brian and me as the Couple of the Year. This is the second year in a row we’ve won that award. I have to admit that I love that a lot, because I think we not only work well together as life partners but also as training and racing partners. We don’t need external recognition to appreciate our special relationship, but it sure is nice. 😀
A few more awards were given out, most of which went to people I’ve really grown to love and admire over the past year, and then it was time for the Team Female Athlete of the Year. (That is, the non-elite female athlete of the year.)
Park made a joke about having to back up the trailer for all of the awards this woman was getting. Then he said that the woman had qualified for the Boston Marathon and I think he mentioned something about being on the podium a lot, but I’m not really sure exactly what he said because everything got a little hazy when I realized he might have been talking about me.
And then he said my name.
I walked up to the platform to grab my award – Brian later told me that when I walked up there, someone in the audience said, “Wow, she’s tall,” which will probably be the title of my as-yet-unwritten memoir – and hugged everyone, then walked back to my chair and stared at my name engraved on that award through eyes full of tears.
It’s been four days since then and it still all seems quite surreal. I mean, I played sports as a teenager, but that was mainly because I was so absurdly tall, not because I was particularly gifted or athletic. The only awards I ever won were for things like “Always Happy to Be Here.” Never in my wildest fucking dreams would it have occurred to me that I would ever be recognized for my athletic abilities. Shit, I didn’t even know I had athletic abilities until I was in my early 30s, let alone any that were worth being recognized for! My mind – it is still blown.
So thanks to these two things, this is where I am as we prepare to leave 2015 – feeling totally validated and energized and ready to rip up some courses and hopefully smash the shit out of some PRs in the process. I can’t wait.