KONA: Part 3 – why scales + hair(s) just don’t matter

This post is comin’ attcha live from my favorite cycling trip of the year: Big Vertical Camp in Thousand Oaks, California. Coaches  Jasper + Mike put on an exceptional camp and attract some seriously remarkable cyclists to ride (err, try to keep up!) with. As I jumped on my new cervelo (gleeeeeee!) this morning, it felt like this was the first Kona Camp of 2016. So best I wrap Kona 2015 and get on with it, eh!

Kona: Part 3 – Why I will never step on a scale to weigh myself ever again and more…

 As I mentioned, I landed on the Big Island in a solo mission two weeks before race day. The goal was to get out of the rain in Vancouver and get adapted to the heat and humidity as quickly as possible. What actually happened was that I landed in Kona and got the sh*t kicked outta me! I called my bestie and told her I was 40lbs overweight and didn’t deserve to be on the island. I went for a 2hr bike ride and nearly got blown off my bike, reminded by the power of the winds. I was dripping with sweat while sitting under an umbrella in the shade at 5PM, not moving wondering how it would feel to still be running at this time on race day?

Lesson #1
One day in the heat of the humidity and a selfie looked like this –-

This might look like a lame self-portrait to you, but you see that curl on my forehead? That curl is a result of me cutting my widow’s peak in grade SIX. I always wanted to wear my hair in a pony tail and was teased for having a widows peak – I was called a vampire, so would quickly take my hair out of a pony tail and try to cover it as best as I could. Until one day, I thought it would be really smart to shave it off. I cut it down as best as I could and then borrowed my mom’s electric razor (remember when mom’s had those?) and proceeded to trim it down. Of course, this was tragic as it grew back very quickly with spikes sticking out of my forehead like some sort of dinosaur. And to this day, those strands of hair have never fully grown out – they protest and curl and remind me that I’m not a vampire and don’t mess with what you’ve been given!

Lesson #2
Well, race morning in Hawaii means stepping on a scale. It’s the only IM I’ve had to weigh in at and I vividly recall stepping on the scale in 2012 and feeling okay with the number starring back at me. I was the fittest that I had ever been in my life and I remember thinking if this is how much I weigh, than that is okay! Since Kona 2012, I have gone to see an energy healer and my only question to him was “am I going to be chubby for the rest of my life?”; I did seek out nutritional coaching with a bench mark of success to not feel like “sausage stephy”; and I did make some significant shifts to my relationship with food, especially over the past year. I would say that between more sleep, better nutrition and quality sweat, I was going into Kona 2015 truly in the very best shape of my life. (I think I might have even dropped 2 clothing sizes!) But you know what? When I stepped on the scale on race morning, I was not 2 full pounds lighter than 2012. NOT TWO! In 3 years, I had finished 8 IM races and was embarking upon what I was hoping to be the best race of my life…and was starting the race less than 2pounds down. It’s easy to say that the numbers doesn’t matter…but really really…I’m ditchin’ the scale!

Race night. When crawling into bed felt like too far to go…perhaps what this feels like for people who are trying to “lose weight” on a scale?

Lesson #3
The day after the race, I could barely move my neck from side to side as it was chaffed raw from my skin suit (my fault: I didn’t apply appropriate amounts of body glide). It hurt to walk as my chubby feet were covered in blisters – especially on the tips of my toes. Danielle would carefully apply polysporin which would subside the pain on my neck momentarily until it rubbed off on something and I would beg for reapplication. And Mikey P took a needle and went to town squirting my blisters dry! It was the best feeling! We celebrated with mai tai’s on the lanai and within less than one hour, each and every blister had properly refilled itself. (Lesson from the rower Bro was that we didn’t thread them – check!) I was in absolute awe – we punctured DEAD skin to let blisters air dry and our smart-as-stink bodies just know what to do to prevent and protect. The next day, with my puffy lil feet, we went swimming with dolphins. In and out of flippers and salt water, each blister was yet again punctured and this time, I got off the boat with feet as good as new and a neck rash that felt miraculously healed?! So ditch the creams and the potions and head to the ocean with your friends for real healing!

Bro chasing the dolphins!

The power of Acceptance of these sweet vessels we have been given is not lost on me. Be it a widows peak, a number on a scale or battered feet. No Judgement. Only Love. (and a whole lotta hard work!) On the other side of the mountain of Acceptance, is a sweet town called BELIEF: population 1, you! That’s where you will find me this year.


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