I am sitting in Starbucks on the last day of the year and I got to thinking….how many Starbucks have I consumed after a run, a swim or a bike ride? How many times have you been or seen a group of athletes socialize after a run? A ‘shit load’ I would say. We need to buy stock in Starbucks! Anyway. I digress.
New Amazing Mermaids
2015! Wow what a roller-coaster this year has been, for me and also for The Mermaid Club. We started off the year by onboarding 36 amazing and inspiring Mermaid Club ambassadors, whose pure energy got me pumped up for 2015. Their quest for ‘Making Waves’ was infectious. They definitely inspired me and so many others to continue the journey of self-discovery and goal setting.
Mermaids Love Giving Back!
The club also spent a lot of time volunteering at many running events, such as the Fort Lauderdale A1A Marathon, the Coral Springs Women’s Wellness Half Marathon, Girls on the Run Rugged Race and many more. Now, if you have never volunteered at a water stop I urge you to do it once! It is a total riot, especially if you are surrounded by good mermaids and mermen (yes we had the guys in skirts and dresses – thank you Tim and Mark!). All I can say is “Water with a T” (hey I am British!)… “Now serving the best water from the French Alps” and “My water is better than hers”. I am certain we shall be giving back to the racing community in 2016 and I encourage you to give back or come join us if you are local!
New Ideas, New Hastags, New Clothing
The club also launched their 2015 “Put the Fun between Your Fins” cycling and triathlon kits as well as the “Run like a Mermaid” run shorts and run bras designed by Ms. Maikala Jewell. Let me tell you; when you are at a race and you hear the word “Mermaid” being yelled out there is such an amazing association, a feeling of comradery, and a sense of belonging that it is overwhelming.
Mermaids showing their fins all over the Globe
We had quite a few Mermaids #showtheirfins this year from the San Francisco Half Marathon to Ironman Lake Placid, to Miami Man 70.3, the New York and Berlin Marathons and Ironman Florida as well as tons of other variety of races all over the world, where we were ‘embedded’ into the race scene. It is incredibly humbling to see your race photos, and the pride with which “The Mermaid Club” gets represented from wearing the tanks, shorts and the cycling gear, to making the “fins up” sign with your hands when you spot a photographer!
Also, let’s not forget the biggest race day of all………………International Mermaid Day! More than 500 of you helped the Mermaid Club raise over $3500 for Girls on the Run Palm Beach. It was a wave of enthusiasm that was so ‘badass’, well I was speechless (and exhausted!) at the turnout, enthusiasm, and level of participation across the globe. We held so many virtual events across the US, Australia and even Scotland! It was truly amazing to see how everyone really got into the whole vibe of it. Honestly, I think we have the opportunity to make this bigger and give back at a higher level in 2016. Who is with me?! I cannot finish this paragraph without saying that this event would not be possible without the help of my friends and the Mermaid Club ambassadors. I am blessed to have real, honest and loyal people in my life. We all are? Right?
In between all the races and IMD, we had Mermaid Madness, a frenzy Instagram challenge during the month of March which saw us go back in time and celebrate our friends, past accomplishments and just some crazy mermaid memories! We definitely plan to do that all again so watch this space!
Of course, the sheer power of the Mermaid love was in full force in 2015. I saw you all continue to tag the club and share your journeys with us. I have watched mermaids go from their first 5k to signing up for their first triathlon in 2016. I have watched mermaids continue to move forward against the odds of personal crap in their lives while some continue the fight against their own weight ‘demons’ and win. There was so much positivity in 2015, it’s just ridiculous and infectious. I can’t thank you all enough for the enthusiasm, contributions, positive energy, and amazing spirit for helping make The Mermaid Club what it is today!
My Mermaid Story
Me? I had quite a journey this year. January 10 was my first (and, I hope only) bike accident which left me with some broken ribs, an AC shoulder sprain, a broken finger and a very beaten up face. One year on and I still have scars on my face as well as some of the road embedded above and under my eye, and on my lip. I dealt with about 14 weeks of concussion. Let me tell you that is no fun! In the latter half of the year I had another accident which resulted in totaling my little Yellow Beetle on I95 – Sunshine is now in car heaven. I was lucky. I am lucky. Lesson learned? Just keep moving forward! Right? I also moved my home (a week before International Mermaid Day. So, to say I was exhausted that week is an understatement) which changed my life style and my kids’ lives completely. They are the best family I could ever hope for. I would not change a thing about our 2015 journey. Big Mermaid Love to them all. Like the biggest I could ever send!! Love you Hayden, Dylan and Rick! Always.
I am sure most of you are expecting to read that my biggest accomplishment was some kind of race. No, there was another challenge I undertook, and one which was undoubtedly one of the bravest things I have ever done in my life. After 31 years I found my dad and took the brave and ballsy step of knocking on his door. A life time of unanswered questions and unknown longing all resolved in one moment. If that isn’t a badass mermaid taking on the world and ‘owning her journey’ then I don’t know what is! Because of this quest I reconnected with family who I hold and cherish many memories with (love you Rachel and Julia). Biggest lesson of 2015 for me? We are all human, we are all flawed and who are we to judge another person for their decisions made. I am waffling now and I will stop coz I could go on!
Of course, like so many of you, I did ‘mermazing’ things with my fins!
I got the opportunity to cycle in the mountains and along the coast line of the South of France which was absolutely amazing! I am definitely going back, so watch this space for updates from the #tourdemermaid in 2016.
I completed my furthest bike distance to date (120 miles) after not riding at all for 6 weeks (heck yeah that’s how I roll).
I also completed some races of course – short and long distances – I got lost on my third 70.3 in Augusta and ended up with more miles than planned (don’t ask) and I also completed another Ironman. Number two is now firmly under the belt: Ironman Florida. That race was total humbling (I owe you a race report) and it was a journey. I got to experience it with very important people in my life and I wanted to take a moment to say thank you to them, Colleen and Chris – that race would have been a very different race if you were not there!
2015 saw me connect with new Mermaids (road trip to Sarasota and meeting some of the craziest Mermaids I have ever met was awesome!) and I grew closer to existing Mermaids, forming bonds and creating trust that only a few people ever get to have (you know who you are!!). Without the support, love and real commentary from my friends and family on my crazy ass ways I would remain alone and in the dark (some days we are right?). I said this in 2014, family and friends are the gardeners of my soul, so I remain grateful and thankful.
It’s not easy being a mermaid, some days are full of accomplishments and some day’s reek of failure. In 2014 I wrote about my guiding principles. While I think I fell short on some (so we continue the process) I definitely think I checked some off….Be Prepared for Change; Be Kind; Take Action; Be in Love; Be Grateful; Give 100%; Give Back and try to really ‘Live Life and Make Waves’.
The Mermaid Club offers me the opportunity to follow these principles and I hope it gives others the opportunity to realize their potential. I’ll end with a cheesy thought coz that’s what I do.
“’Live your life and make waves in a way that opens you up and allows you to enjoy each and every moment. This is when you truly feel alive and connected. Be happy and embrace the beauty coz it’s really all around us”
So I urge you to just reflect for a moment, maybe in Starbucks, over a cup of tea and realize that your 2015 was amazing too!
Much love, Many Waves
Running Mermaid xo