Not unlike almost every other night, I sit here on my couch unwinding from the day with ice bags draped over my legs, recuperating from another week of swimming, biking and running. It’s in these moments of easing my pain with icing, stretching, foam rolling, and massaging that I remember the words of one of my training partners; “Aly, you just get used to being uncomfortable.” And so I’ve come to learn that she is exactly right. Training for Ironman is not supposed to be easy or comfortable, it’s meant to push your limits, and it’s how you mentally handle those limitations that will ultimately determine whether you make it to that finish line or not. So, every time I get that unbearable pain that stabs into my inner shin, I scream at it to shut up and go away; every time my lungs burn and my heart pounds almost out of my chest, I block it out and tell myself to work harder; every time my knee pierces with pain, or my feet hurt, my shoulders ache or my hair flies in my face and messes with my rhythm, I hear a familiar voice that says, “suck it up, princess and put your big girl panties on.” That familiar voice comes from a friend near and dear to me, someone who I’ve never seen give up, and who always stands proud and just keeps on putting one foot in front of the other. She is the strongest woman I know, and even through her battle with Multiple Sclerosis, she continuously lives life being uncomfortable, managing the pain, and always just moving forward. She has been a constant source of inspiration for me throughout life and this journey because she is always in the back of my head pushing me to be better, no matter what obstacle stands in my way. To give back and to say thank you, I am dedicating my race to raising money for MS. After all these long training hours, tears, aches, pains, triumphs, and failures, I want to cross that finish line accomplishing something bigger than myself; something that makes a difference. Please join me in my fundraising journey, and support the cause to help those living with MS by checking out my fundraising page here. Any financial help is wholeheartedly appreciated, but any and all moral support is just as welcome. Thanks to those who continue to follow me as I embark on this wild and crazy ride.