So Katie and I are back from Epic Women’s Training camp in Kona and after 1100km of riding (including up Mauna Kea, a volcano scaling 9000 feet with a 17% grade on our Speed Concept mountain goats), 100km or running (on the Ironman race course along the legendary Ali’i Drive and the scorching lava field of the Queen K highway), and about 30 km of beautiful ocean swims with dolphins, and the occasional sighting of a very fit looking Lance Armstrong who was there training), and after the psychic and physical boundary busting that enabled us to ride and run and swim hard and fast for about 8hrs a day for 8 days, we are ready to take a short breather and then attack the race season. As it was last year, my experience in Kona was exceptional. I come away inspired by the shifts in myself and in the amazing women who were with me. Each and every one of them have become someone new. It’s hard to articulate precisely what I mean, but something happens in the rawness of exposure—when one is physically and mentally maxed but must keep going, must keep interacting with others kindly and with appreciation despite feeling exhausted and cranky and realizing how to, and that one MUST, get outside of oneself when the urge to coil inward is so fierce and the relentless wind and zapping heat beckon you toward the ever enticing “just give up,” but you can’t and you won’t and you know that with every fiber of your being. This is the tension that strips you of all protective devices, leaves you open and in a manner defenseless, but also enables you to access the core of your potential—you alone with everything you can be. For this I come away uplifted, with an increased responsiveness to my body and my mind and with an expansive appreciation for what a group of women can do for and with one another. Thank you ladies, and thank you to all the amazing sponsors who helped us along the way including most importantly Barry and Trek and Super Steve my own personal Trek mechanic and GU and Zoot and Kona Coffee (have you ever tried this stuff?!) and Fuel Belt, and of course our incredible support crew Chef Eric, David, Etienne, super dad Bruce, and the BFF and best coach ever and Epic Camp Founder Tara Norton.