Strengths Finder – do you know yours?

strengths finder

Have you heard of “strengths finder”…?? It’s one of those personality assessments that ask you lots of questions like – on a scale from 1 to 5, rate your most/least likely agreement with the statement. I took it last year and here is what I got:






Have you taken that test or something similar? I think I’ve taken so many over the years that they all blend together. On many of those tests, like the Meyers-Brigg, I seem to be on the fence with my traits – a good example is the introvert/extrovert. I really straddle that fence…seem to be really comfortable in either situation, for a period of time, then I need to go to the other side of the fence. In the Enneagram I don’t seem to dominate in any of the categories, 1-9. I think I’m #10….which doesn’t really exist in their paradigm, so I created my own category: I’m a 10 on the Enneagram scale. There are others too, but that’s just a small sample of where I fit & where I don’t.

How does this relate to triathlon? 


Learner: There’s a HUGE learning curve in triathlon! Always something new to learn, a new goal to achieve, a new swim technique to try, a new pair of shoes or orthodics, a new swim cap, you name it. Always something new, no exaggeration.

Maximizer: (not sure this is accurate, but it’s how I use the word here) Being strategic in your form, improving skills, or being more flexible will maximize your results in any leg of the triathlon. We athletes are always looking for ways to maximize your time, energy, and increase your capacity for endurance.

Connectedness: Even though this is mostly a solo sport, there are so many connections that have come from this sport that I wouldn’t have otherwise. I’ve made friends specifically due to this sport, found other women in this area through a familiar kit (clothing at the tri) that caught my eye and knew we were in the same tribe! I’ve found similar people through the TriMafia at Velocity Sportswear. It’s nice to find those connections and similar mindsets through this sport.

Relator: To me this means being able to intentionally build a community around a common energy. I’ve pulled a lot of people into this sport! Helping people see the greatness in overcoming obstacles and doing things that are hard is very important. Being able to relate to those feelings and encouraging others to move forward despite the discomfort is a great skill to nurture.

Developer: When triathlon becomes your thing, you are always looking to build on what you have. Developing skills, developing technique, improving form, and similar things. It’s a little like creating a really fun meal. Each part needs to compliment the other, and they all work together for a great taste.

I also think these things are just part of how I’m wired. For a long time I assumed that most people naturally have a growth mindset…….. apparently that’s not true! I can’t imagine going through life & thinking that things should always be the same. How boring would that be!?






I see a new bike in my future…

I think it’s time. My old bike (Norman…..aaaaw, sweet Norman) is probably going to have to retire soon. It’s 12 years old. A 12 year old beginner level Giant road bike with numerous crashes will not carry me too much further. Norman the bike

Today on a 20 mile ride it felt…. I don’t know, weird. Have you ever driven a car that “pulls” to one side? Like the alignment is not quite right? That’s how it felt today. I’ve got close to 3000 miles on it, so it’s probably time. It also started making this rubbing noise – like the brakes or something was rubbing the tire. Kinda’ like a car. My car is 17 years old! I really do keep things for a long time and it’s an investment to buy something big. And road bikes are NO joke with the cost! They are so fancy shmancy now.

Things don’t last forever. God forbid my iPhone lasts more than a couple of more months….I mean it *HAS* been about 2 years, wouldn’t want it to work beyond 2 years. That’s just crazy talk. : /  {huge sarcasm there}

I guess bikes don’t last forever either! My husband just decided to break apart his college bike (think Cannondale, 1993 or so) and keep the frame for “art” on the wall. Great idea, but man, it took forever to let that go! Bless his heart.

Anyway….one day, new bike, coming my way.





Dreams – Therapy – Chemo

I’ve really tried to keep this blog about triathlon, but I need to veer to the side a little bit.

sunflowers c

In a very short amount of time we found out that my 12 year old nephew, who should be starting 7th grade this week, is starting chemo today to battle Hodgkin’s Lymphoma…

Cancer. In an innocent kid. Out of nowhere.

He’s officially at UNC for treatment as of yesterday (7-10-17). As of an hour ago, he started his first round of IV meds. I know almost nothing about cancer; my family is loaded with cardio stuff, but not cancer. I realize that anyone can get cancer. Some people bring it on their self with their choices. And some are just dealt a crappy hand with the roll of the genetic dice.

sunflowers d

Have you ever woken up from a bad dream with confusion? Crying because it seemed so real and so devastating? I did that this morning at 5am. My dream was that the situation was much worse than what we know right now – I won’t spell out the details, but it was awful enough to wake up crying and awful enough to still be feeling its effects at 3pm. My early swim sucked. I was really distracted & couldn’t get my head in the game. So today I rode 16 miles by myself, in very hot weather, to see the sunflower field. In Raleigh there’s an area they use alongside the greenway as a bit of a summer attraction. It’s not a super long or super challenging ride, but it was a small dose of therapy. I sweat out some ugly demons today. I’m hoping my nephew can do the same in chemotherapy.

I’m usually pretty good at finding the meaning in things – one door closes, another opens. I can look back & see how things are connected. I try to find the silver lining. But I’m really struggling to find the meaning in this – in any sense. So far, the only good thing I’ve found is the generosity of many people who want to help in some capacity…food, gift cards, childcare, help in some way. In this awful, disgusting, and hate-filled political season, even finding something as normal & expected as people taking care of each other is rare. It’s a heavy day for our family, but I know he will fight his ass off to get through this.