A year ago…..

A little bit of a flight delay and some free internet in SFO means a blog post! The past week has had me thinking a lot about my trip here last year, my first voyage to the Big Island. I am so lucky to be going back yet again this year and I know that there are many others who are taking their first trip. So, here it is, the ole “Open letter to myself one year ago” post…..

Dear Alyssa,

You’re about to have the week of a lifetime. You’ve watched for years the NBC broadcast, and now it’s your turn. Here are some things to keep in mind:

-Write everything down. As it happens. Scribble in a notebook, put a quick note in your phone memo – anything you need to do to make sure you can document the trip. Your memory is terrible, Alyssa. I know you try to spin it into being a blessing because “you can re-read books and re-watch movies over and over and never remember the endings!” but, this is not a book or a movie. This is a trip you are going to want to remember the details of and you will want to share with your family and friends. Carry a pen and paper, and write it down.

-Swim in the ocean without fear of sharks or whatever other things you’ve dreamed up in your mind about the ocean. See only the turtles and the amazing fish and keep your fingers crossed the dolphins will come to play. But when you swim, just do it from the pier. Watching Blue Crush 10 times doesn’t mean you have the ability to swim out from your condo over the rocks and the current and get out to the course from there. Save yourself the time (and embarrassment of trying!).

-Sleep. Relax. Keep your feet up. Hydrate.

-Get excited because this week will mark the beginning of your friendship with Julie! Take advantage of the time with her because you won’t get to see her often as she lives across the globe. But she will end up being a valuable friend as the time difference makes for great convos via text during early morning trainer sessions, or late night “I’m so tired” commiserations!

-Go to the local shop and get the Hawaiian rub spices you were eyeing. Yeah, you’re not entirely sure if these are actually Hawaiian through and through, but it will end up being your favorite seasoning for the year, and will remind you of your dreams on the Big Island every time you use it, so who cares if it’s truly authentic?

-Wear sunscreen. Really.


-Go to the undie run and take part in it with the careless abandon of a first year sorority girl (okay, maybe not quite that wild….). Enjoy it. Turns out triathlon is a sport for the ages, and you’re actually one of the youngest girls out there racing so enjoy these days while you can!


-Go out after the awards banquet. But, maybe, go a little easier on the Mai Thais. You may not have to go fishing with dad at 5am the next morning and have to endure a terrible bout of hungover seasickness, but you’ll still thank me. I promise. 

And as always, go fast and take chances.


Yourself, one year older and wiser.

Published by Alyssa Godesky

Alyssa is a professional triathlete who has logged over 8,000 miles in competition of swimming, biking and running across five continents. She came to triathlon from an ultrarunning background and over the last few years has found success back on the trails: in 2018 she set the female supported Fastest Known Time (FKT) on Vermont's 273 mile Long Trail in 5 days, 2 hours and 37 minutes. In 2020 she set the women's supported FKT for climbing the 46 High Peaks in the Adirondacks in 3 days, 16 hours and 16 minutes. She is a triathlon and running coach, and also enjoys spending time guiding hikers out on the trails. Alyssa is based in Charlottesville, VA with her dog Ramona.

0 comments on “A year ago…..”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *