Those of you dear readers whom have been tracking my latest racing posts likely have noticed that I have been wearing a lot of blue and white lately…
The great news came a few weeks back, just as I was packing for a ride camp in Solvang with one of my favorite ladies on the planet. The call was unexpected, and the conversation nothing short of flattering and exciting. I’ve never aligned with a company quite like Luna Bar before, nor with an offer – such as this one – that felt all too good to be true.
The invitation was to be a LUNA Sponsored Athlete, racing for the Elite Team (name to be refined soon) – a team that inspires amateur female athletes with a passion for competition to continue to pursue their prowess, while balancing a full life outside of sport. In short, we are 10 of your everyday ladies; we’re dividing our time between our passion for racing in our respective sports, and our families, careers and wellbeing. We’re highly competitive in our age groups on local, regional and national (and soon to be world) scales, and we seek to not only be exceptional athletes, but also ambassadors of sportswoman ship (surely, this IS a word?) giving back to our communities in a positive way, inspiring women to develop, and maintain active healthy lifestyles…like ours.
These types of sponsorships don’t come along all so often for amateur athletes like me. Traditionally, only the truly superhuman receive financial incentives or product support to race. And, traditionally, the incentive of inspiring other women to maintain healthy, active lifestyles is not anywhere in the contract you sign when you join the team….there is much more mention of “winning” and “product placement” in that fine print.) Which is not to say that we haven’t been eating an extraordinarily LARGE amount of LUNA Bars lately, nor is it to say that we, the Ladies of Luna, aren’t driven, focused, or on the hunt for glory. NO.
At Wildflower just two weeks back, a few of my fellow teammates and I were among the top 20 women to cross the finishline at the Wildflower 70.3 Triathlon here in California, and we’re all looking forward to full race seasons, following in the successful footsteps of our sister team – the Luna Chix Pro’s whom are kicking keester and taking names all over Europe, and will enjoy the opportunity to chase podium finishes at the 2012 Summer Olympics in London in a few weeks.
So, a few shiny new uniforms, and a whole lotta LUNA bars (as well as a few more goodies) have been delivered by the FedEx guy, and I was off to race in a new shiny blue and black suit; a small, nominal thing in the grand scheme that has made a big impact on the way that I am choosing to train and race this season, and into the future. There was an undeniable camraderie with the other ladies on the course at Wildflower – a sensation that is really important for our sport, I feel. And, when I didn’t find the exact result I had been hunting on the course (a top 5 finish with an automatic invitation to the ITU Long Course World Championships) I would be lying if support of the colors of that uniform I was wearing, and all that it stands didn’t make me feel better about the result as I crossed the finish line.
The successes that we, The Ladies of LUNA, find in those uniforms are for you all as much as they are for us. The things we accomplish are representative of ladies of sport everywhere. Not all of us were born Olympians, but there are handfuls of us out there that strive to be the best we can be each and everyday, and we’re very happy to work it, and own it, on the course, and off – for you.
For the mothers inspiring their daughters to be strong, powerful women. For the military wives that slowly but surely build strong families in adverse conditions. For the working girls who don’t know where their going to find 5 minutes of quiet, but somehow find 60 minutes to run. To the ladies singlehandedly cycling the wilds of China, Mongolia, or just to work. The long time athletes that crave digging into their own depths. For the 40-year olds running their first marathons, the college athletes getting back into the swing, and the grandmothers that still have that twinkle in their eye and a swagger left in their stride. These victories big and small are for you as much as they are for us, because just like you, they are our everyday.