Professional athlete and 3-time Ironman champion

Breaking Up is (no so) Hard to Do.


“I don’t need to see you again.”

In other circumstances, that might cause one to well up. Feel rejected. Feel alone.

But in this particular case, sweeter words were never spoken.

Over a year ago, now, my world came crashing down, along with my broken body. I lay in a hospital bed, wondering if I’d ever race again, and I didn’t even know the extent of my injuries.



I remember distinctly the moment I heard the news. I’d made my way home from Germany, courtesy of a good friend who got me to the pointy end of the plane so that I could lay and not sit, and more so, thanks to the truckload of pharmaceuticals I was issued when discharged from the ICU.

The next day, after I tried to “swim” (which resulted in a tearful and painful clutching of a lane line after 27 yards), DaveyG and I made the rounds to most of Boston’s medical community. MRI, CT scan, chest CT, ultrasound. In short, enough radiation to make me glow…not in a way one necessarily wants to glow.

From there, we made our way down to Cape Cod; my most favorite place in the world. For some inexplicable reason, I felt compelled to pull weeds when we got there, so DaveyG propped me up on an up-turned Home Depot bucket and I sat, hunched over, tugging weeds from our walkway.

It was strangely therapeutic.

I made a cell phone call to Steve Harad; Kestrel Brand Manager, and drinker of girly drinks with umbrellas in them. As I told Steve that it didn’t seem like I’d make it to Kona that year, I hoped to be able to race by year-end and blah, blah, blah, blah.

As I chatted it up with Steve (aka, Sally) and tried to be optimistic, DaveyG’s cell phone rang.   It was my doctor with my results.

I finished my conversation with Sally, and Dave moved me inside, sat me on the couch and poured me a glass of wine; a perfect accouterment to a host of prescription pharma.

Calmly and quietly, DaveyG laid it out. “Broken (blah, blah, blah, blah). Fractured (blah, blah, blah, blah). In two places (blah, blah, blah, blah). 12 weeks no exercise at all. Months (blah, blah, blah). May never race (blah, blah, blah)”

In those few sentences, I’d upended my glass of wine.

And so it began.

A glorious add-on in March came like a ton of bricks, but in two simpler words. Stress fracture.

In the past year, I have spent more time in waiting rooms, in doctor’s offices, on physical therapy tables. I’ve scheduled more appointments, had more hour-long frustrating calls with insurance companies, and done more rehabilitation exercises than one should have to do in a lifetime. It’s become part of the daily ritual. I joke with Siri that I have 30 minutes of exercises to do just to enable me to get out of bed in the morning!

But today, I got the wonderful news of a break up.

From the first PT I saw back in August of last year (sorry for the complete emotional breakdown) to the last I saw today (I waited to get to my car for the complete emotional breakdown…this time, out of joy), it’s been nothing short of a journey; both terrible and incredible. I’ve learned so much. About anatomy and physiology. About doctors and the value of a second opinion. About myself and about my team of supporters. About the importance of patience and perspective. And about what truly matters in life.

From that very, very, very bad day. To this very, very, very good day…..finally, words I wanted to hear from my physical therapist,

“I don’t need to see you any more.”

And with that, we’ve broken up.


Persistence. Determination. Love. The Journey!

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