Quote of the day


Joseph Campbell

Saturday, July 26, 2014


It's go time. For 210 days I have been training for tomorrow's Ironman Lake Placid. I will be racing for recovery, for friendship and family, for discipline and unwavering dedication, for love of multisport and for my body's never ending quest to move. But mostly, I will be racing for ...myself.

Since January, I have put in countless hours of physical training and mental training. I've had fantastic days when my energy and confidence were soaring and my body was performing top notch.  I've also had trying days when I struggled desperately to drag my tired and sore body out of bed at 4 am to workout or simply skipped a workout altogether. Sometimes, I didn't work out for days upon days. If my body said "don't", I listened and I didn't.

You learn a lot about your body and spirit when you train for an endurance event like this. You learn to really hear and feel your body. You listen to what it needs whether it's rest, nutrition or surging well beyond your comfort zone. Perhaps that is why many do this sport: to push their bodies and minds to new realms of tolerance, awakening, (pain) and success.

People often ask this question to ironman triathletes: "why do you want to do an ironman?" Most answers revolve around having specific personality traits that makes us "intense",  "crazy" or "type A".

I personally think Ironman training and competition is more about finding out how much you can push yourself; testing the limits of the human physical, emotional, mental and psychological potential. Yes, there is a little crazy thrown in there but, hey, we all posses it!

When I registered for my first Ironman (Ironman Florida in 2006) my intention was simply to complete the most prestigious triathlon event. At that time, I had spent over 5 years racing triathlon and legitimately felt I had built up my endurance enough to get to a place where I could race in the ultimate triathlon.

But that's when my injuries started. It's simple really: my body was breaking down from overtraining and malnourishment (secondary to an eating disorder and resultant body dysmorphia and abuse) . Bad combination. You see, having an eating disorder really impinges upon peak body performance; peak brain performance; ability to hold relationships and to uphold commitments and much, much more.

In 2006, 5 months before my first Ironman, during a half ironman in Miami, I hurt my hip.  I felt something literally "snap" on a down pedal about halfway into a the bike portion. I finished the race but I was hurt. I sought out an orthopedist opinion, had an MRI and began what became a year long attempt to rehab through physical therapy. But after a year I still was no better and still did not have a definitive diagnosis. I had to withdraw from the Ironman race.

Almost a year after the injury occurred I saw an amazing orthopedist in NYC for a second opinion and he nailed my diagnosis within minutes of looking at my MRI from the previous year!! He ended up performing surgery on my right hip in September 2007. Then came another FULL year of physical therapy.

When my hip finally felt normal again I got back into training and then began racing in 2008. Within a year, I started have severe RIGHT knee pain- my ITB (iliotibial band). This just goes to show how when one part of the physiologic mechanism is disrupted the others are prone to injury from compensation and/or weakness. I had "fixed" my hip but my knee said "hey, what about me??"  I underwent yet another year of physical therapy in an attempt to avoid surgery. But this didn't resolve the issue and finally my dear friend and orthopedist was convinced enough that I needed surgical intervention. He was willing to perform a rare procedure called IT band release.  And just like that, I was under the knife again in June 2009.

IT band surgery was a tough surgery to recover from. Much harder than the hip surgery. But by 2011 I was good enough to bike across America (3,907 miles!) in the name of eating disorder awareness and recovery. My body had done some pretty remarkable healing and I was ready to go!

In April 2012, I moved to Denver, CO where I started a new job and began "altitude" training, so to speak. I competed in a handful of races in 2012 and had a successful year all around. In the summer of 2012 I finally got the gumption to sign up for a other ironman...again. Ironman Mont Tremblant.

If you've read any of my blog you will know that that race didn't go over so well. About 20 miles into the bike portion, my steering tube fractured (simply put, my bike fell apart). I took a fall and when I got up I realized that my Ironman dream was over. At least for 2013.

Over the next few months my wounds (mental and physical) healed and I knew I had to get myself into another Ironman.  I had to finish what I started. So after just 2 months "off" from training, I began training again.

Fast forward nearly 8 months and here I am today, July 26th 2014, a day before Ironman Lake Placid. Ready to go. Chomping at the bit. Surrounded in spirit by so many people that I love who I know are rooting for me....including MY voice inside of me that says "I know you can do this! It's been years in the making and there's nothing Emi cannot do.  It's time to get 'er done."

I am thankful to be here and look forward to showing my potential, my passion and my resilience. Joseph Campbell  spoke about The Hero's Journey, the most important element of which is to RETURN to tell your story.

Well, that is my story. To be continued...

With love,



  1. Yay! Beautiful. All systems GO! I will be cheering you all day tomorrow. XOXOXOXO -Kelly Humphry