I arrived in Kelowna yesterday for the Canadian National Championships/ITU Pan American Cup this coming weekend. I guess I haven't traveled on a Boeing 727 in a while, so I was pleasantly surprised by how big the plane was. The first class passengers have it GOOD! I didn't realize they get their own little personal bodpod, time capsule-looking seats. I walked straight on by to the economy class where I was just thrilled to be able to watch movies on the way there!
I'm happy to report that my bike box decided to follow me all the way to Kelowna this year, instead of getting lost in Vancouver like last year. The team at Fresh Air Experience put my bike together and gave it some love within a couple of hours, so I was able to commute back to the hotel on it last night.
I had the chance to meet some other elite athletes (Dan and Colleen) while waiting for the hotel shuttle at the airport yesterday, and they were also both racing their first season as elites. It was nice to be in the company of some other newbies, and we shared our stories of our first ITU race experiences. We all had a good laugh at our mechanical issues, lapped out DNFs, and DQs! That was the moment yesterday when I realized that once you peel away all of those layers of fear and nerves going into a race like this one, it really is such an amazing experience to see yourself grow and mature as an athlete. The only way to get better is to challenge yourself and to do those things that really scare you. That's why I'm here this weekend-to challenge myself, to scare myself (in a good way!), and as my friend Mike Chang instructed, to most importantly have fun!
I'm looking forward to getting decals for race numbers and to perhaps getting some autographs from Paula Finday and Kirsten Sweetland at our athletes' meeting tonight!