I loved being on the team. I met many friends and raced well. And not even a year into the team, I was pregnant. And, taking myself as overly serious as many triathletes do, I was sure I didn't belong on the team anymore. I told Wattie to pick some young triathlete with a bunch of results to take my place the next year. In typical Sean Watkins fashion, he told me he was happy to have me pregnant an not racing on the team because I was part of the family.
Great! So, I figured I would make it up by being fit and race ready the next year when Isla was born. Of course, I was nothing close to that and many fast athletes were added to the team. But still, I was welcome. And that has been a recurring theme for me year after year on the team: friends and family. It is really easy to support Heather, Wattie, and the brand when they really support me.
So off I flew to Oregon for Wattie and Heather's wedding.
Within 2 hours of being away from Isla I felt that I had made a big mistake. I missed her. I missed Dave. I seriously just wanted to be with my family. I was regretting the trip and the time, money, and effort it was taking from my family. When I last tucked Isla in bed before the trip, I explained to her that I would be leaving a for a few days. She responded, "Mommy, I am sad." Heartbreak!
Isla and Mema at the zoo and splash pad :)And, she was clearly sad. Everyone definitely missed mom as evidenced by the many pictures of the family having a complete BLAST without me.
Mema said that Lucy, their new puppy, was very shy and not overly friendly to strangers. Well, Lucy hadn't yet met Isla, who can impose her will like no other. And within an hour, Isla MADE Lucy be her friend. So funny! :) Love that girl.
So no one missed me and Dave encouraged me to try to enjoy my trip and take some time to myself. Once I went through the Mt Hood state park as I drove from Portland to Bend, I started to relax. I arrived to the #OG condos with a bunch of my favorite Wattie friends. I partook in all of the wedding activities. And, I even convinced Denise "Biebs" Hiller to run a half marathon with a start at 5500ft elevation and 1100ft of gain. Our quads were sore for the next week.
Hauln' Aspen Half Marathon- enjoying nature in Bend! and Denise LOVES telling complete strangers how I "cut the course."
Meeting Heather and Wattie in person was wonderful. Most of our team has met them personally, but as I lived in the dirty south and haven't traveled much in the past few years, I have not had a chance to spend time with them. Heather is amazing and feels like an old friend (As does Becca, her sis and one of my fave people in the Wattie crew). Wattie, on the other hand, intimidated the shit out of me UNTIL I met him and he is seriously this generous, warm person. It is easy to pretend to be sincere via email and social media. It is another thing entirely to be sincere and friendly in person. These two people are awesome.
Wattie and Heather had an amazing ceremony, officiated by Sean English of Challenge races. And I think that maybe if you were to look at it in pictures, you might not get it. But being at the wedding, you understood, saw, and felt the love between these two amazing and unique people. There wedding was just a part of who they are, and it was really special.
And then it was time to head home. I had a great dinner with an old New Orleans friend in Portland, then caught the red eye back to Memphis. Isla and I couldn't stop holding hands the whole next day. I sure was happy to see her. I am a lucky, lucky mommy.