Tuesday, August 28, 2012

real life awesome. carla lawson

this is the first instalment of the real life awesome feature. where i speak with people in my life who i believe are truly awesome.way more awesome than any hollywood stars. i hope you will too.

i am honored beyond words by the effort, strength and truth that the girls i've spoken to already have put into their words. for some of them it has been soul searching and sometimes even bought tears. i think it may have been as rewarding for them to write their stories as it for us to read them.

so without further ado, let me tell you a little about carla, this weeks real life awesome lady.

carls has been one of my closest friends for over 24 years. someone with good strong morals, the product of a good upbringing. carla has always been in to sport, in high school she excelled in netball and i remember her struggling with "who am i if i'm not a netballer" for a while after quiting. but she chose to chase another dream, these days she’s a triathlete and has dedicated her life to being the best she can. one has to admire her determination. everything in her life is carefully organised to fit into her sport; where she lives, where she works, what she eats, how often she socialises. she’s sacrificed so much and as a result, has conquered her ultimate dream of racing in the hawaiian ironman, although her goals keep evolving. (another thing i admire about her).

she can ride a bike for longer than i would want to drive a car, if that's not awesome, i don't know what is!

carla inspires me constantly, she recently had a bad accident while riding and i expected her answers to focus on it, she was as surprised as me that they didn't.

I could have easily commented on it in questions 2 or 4.  The crash will have taken out about 6months of this year in terms of training, which in my world is a ridiculous length of time not to be training, but I didn't remember it when I looked back (whilst sitting here in a sling!).  I guess I don't see it affecting my long term goals in the sport???

real life awesome personified.
1.   Can you tell us a little about yourself?
I love triathlon and try to fit work around racing and traveling!  Apparently it should be the other way around, but I decided about 3-4 years ago that life's too short.  Triathlon has taken me all over the world and tested my mental and physical strength.   I feel like I've just scratched the surface in terms of my racing potential, triathlon is a really frustrating sport where you just get sucked in, and I'm quite a competitive type personality... to say the least.  I just haven't yet been able to achieve the level of performance I want in the sport.

I've started a new role at work which is finally putting some of my studies to good use.  I'm looking forward to switching my mind back on, and well as training for another Ironman next year. 
2.   What has been your biggest hurdle or opportunity for growth?
Probably when i retired from Netball I lost any direction or feeling of belonging, and it was really hard to think that I wouldn't be any good at a sport anymore.  There was a period of about 6 -12months when I did nothing and got really really fat and could have easily continued down that path and stayed unhappy.  When i decided to turn things around and start training with a Triathlon club it was just to shed a few kg's, I never thought it would lead me to where I am today.   That one decision to join the club had seen me get fit, travel to world, make some awesome friends and even meet my love!

3.   What is the best piece of advice you’ve been given and what did you do with it?
 I'm not sure if I have any one piece of advice thats stuck, but the way my mum and dad raised me was to believe that I could do anything I wanted to do in life.... I think that advice has been invaluable and I've never felt restricted in dreaming.

4.   Is there an event that was your turning point?
 Two actually; The first was my first ironman in 2005 (which took me 13hrs 26ish minutes to finish).  I realised two things;1. I loved the sport (one of the best memories I have is getting out of the water after the swim and seeing my mum screaming in excitement to see me... I ran straight over and gave her a hug mid race, put a smile on my face for the rest of the day).   2. I hated being bad at it. 

The second turning point was 2011 Hawaiian Ironman.  After a huge year, and a tiring but good preparation things went a little pear shaped during the race which had me nearly pulled off the course - which would been a DNF next to my name.  The alternative was to walk the marathon, I ended up walking the entire marathon.  It gave me a fair bit of time (i think more than 7 hrs) to have a think about why I was still in sport.  And I decided that my body and mind was tired, it had been a crazy 3 years. But.... 1. I still loved the sport and 2. I still hated being bad at it. 

5.   Do you have any tricks to keep you on track?
 I am definitely a morning trainer, so generally speaking I know if I get up early and do my morning session, the rest of the day flow on well.  I also look for 'red flags' that warn me that I'm heading off track.  An early sign is if I start over-eating - I find it hard with the longer distance training to balance the right intake as I'm always hungry!! Another sign is if I start dreading training session that generally means I might be a little too tired and need some extra rest. 

6.   Who or what inspires you?
 People that just get it done.  They set a goal, and have the discipline/willpower to stick with it.  Not just with sport, anything in life.  People that have long term self-discipline I think are incredible. 

7.   What little nugget of gold would you like to leave us with?
- if your dreams aren't scaring you, then they're not big enough
- Character is defined by what we do when it is inconvenient, and no-one is watching.

thank you so much for being a part of real life awesome carls, i couldn't think of anyone more deserving of starting things off. xxx

if you have any questions or comments for carls leave them below and i'll be sure to pass them on.

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