Yes, it’s true. 300 people were rescued from Monday’s Waikiki Rough Water Swim…but that story (and the North Shore 5k story) will have to wait. Because it’s important to celebrate how far you’ve come sometimes…and because it’s not every day that you find a magical place that makes smashed avocado on toast so right…
It was a glorious Sunday morning. Bright blue skies, already 80…perfect for a celebration breakfast with my two best friends. Cherelle scooted over to my house on her moped and Rod picked us up a few minutes later in the Beamer. We rolled through the graffitied streets of Kakaako, looking for a cool, new place called Arvo. As we approached the hippest eatery West of Ala Moana, a car pulled out of its parking space next to the front door. Rock star parking!
We grabbed the only open table as we walked in the door – this place was buzzing and already packed! Everything on the chalkboard menu looked fantastic. We were excited to try everything and ordered a smorgasbord of items to share. We had lavender coffees, loaded avocado toast, salmon toast, matcha green tea chia seed pudding, Nutella with bananas and strawberries on toast…it was AMAZING! A symphony of favors ready to burst in your mouth. And sooooo pretty! Garnished with edible flowers- this place is an Instagram lover’s food photo dream.
Most of the time, I don’t talk that much about swimming and training (more about men, the mall, the weather, family…) but today was special. Today was a mini celebration of our season. We had TWO open water swim races this week: the Waikiki Rough Water Swim (4K) and the North Shore 5k Swim. This summer, I won the North Shore Series Championship for my division overcoming a slow start and finishing 13th overall in the women’s and also finished 13th overall at the North Shore 5k. Rod overcame a major injury to finish the HURT100 mile run trail race. Cherelle prevailed over so much adversity and solo training to finish this summer ranked number one in Switzerland in the 400 and 800 meter freestyle and the 5k and 10k open water swimming events. She swam a lifetime best in the 10k at Olympic Trials in Portugal (2 hours and 2 minutes) but, unfortunately, was not selected to swim at the Olympics. She has handled disappointment with strength and grace and I am very, very proud of her.
She took my advice this weekend, executed her strategy perfectly and beat all of the men out of the water! Yeah! I love it when the ladies beat the men – I’ve done it a few times and it is such a great feeling! I train consistently with an amazing group of women at UH – Cherelle, Chelsea, Haley, Miki and Sandy (also Lectie, Heather, Nicole, Emma and more) – they all managed to place in the top ten overall with the men and I am really happy for them…it is very difficult getting up at 4:30am but I choose to train at that time because it is the best training that we can get. I am sure they all feel that way!
So cheers to another hard fought win at the North Shore! Thank you to everyone that cheered for me, sent me notes and letters, sponsored me and supported me in all of my adventures! My goal this year was to stay healthy, get stronger and to be ready to tackle a major long distance swim in 2017. This year really challenged me and I have grown much tougher. It’s not how you start a race – it’s how you finish.
I am ready. Bring it on!