Tomorrow is the first anniversary of my first triathlon. This night last year I was getting ready to show myself that I could do the previously unthinkable.

Tomorrow I'll be racing WinforKC again. I'm getting ready to see, in hard numbers, how far I've progressed this year. Or not.

Anything can happen in a race. I can flat in the first 200 yards of the bike course. I can lose my goggles in the swim. Or the whole thing can get stormed out and cancelled. So nothing is sure and it is me being a silly little monkey to think I am going to show myself anything or prove anything.

The only thing I know is that barring storms and lightning, I will be on the start line. Do you know what a start line feels like — particularly a time trial start, where it is just you at the verge of experience, at the horizon of your own future, waiting for the Go?

I hope you do. I hope you know. If you don't know, I hope you find it. It's here for you as much as for anybody else. Whoever you are, whatever shape you are in, however much fear you have, however many people are in your life telling you that you cannot. THEY ARE WRONG.

They told me, and I had a million reasons to believe them. My age. The fat swishing and chugging around on my body. My history of eating disorders. My history of falling for no good reason. My fear of the bike. My out of breath wheezing on the run. My not having learned to swim until I was in my thirties. THEY WERE WRONG.

Last year I believed and worked and a year ago tomorrow I did a thing I once thought could never be for me. Tomorrow is a special day for me. This is a special race.

Tomorrow morning I will be standing in a crowd of almost 850 women. Each of those women has a story about getting to the start line. Many of those women will be nervous, even afraid. Many will be unsure that they can finish. Some, statistically, will be having a bad day, not feeling well, whatever, in less than perfect race conditions. But they will be lining up.

One at a time, they will walk up to the start line and stand poised to become something new: a triathlete, an athlete, a racer, a finisher. And what they have already become — a person willing to walk to the start line — will shine bright.

It's been an incredible year. Since that first start line, I've raced four duathlons, a cold-water triathlon, a half marathon and a couple of 10Ks (including conquering The Hill at last), and a handful of other races. I've seen myself get stronger and faster. I've completely changed how I feed myself and seen my emotions and thoughts clear and become positive. I'm more confident in everything I do. I stand up straighter. And every week I find something new to love about racing, using my body's athletic potential, and being with people at all skill levels from day one novice to expert, who love where they are and what they're doing.

Not everybody gets a year like this in life. I'm grateful, and I hope I never take this for granted, or the help and support that's been given so freely by so many at every turn.

To those who race tomorrow, great race; to those whose races in life take them elsewhere, go with power and grace... Are you ready to crush this thing with me?!

Yes you are. See you on the line.