Triumph And Turmoil: A Journey To Ironman With Our Barista, Monica Price
Ironman Championships: The Whole World Comes To Kona
This year we are thrilled to welcome back the athletes along with their families and fans for one of the most exciting and demanding races on the planet: the Ironman® World Championships. During the month of October, our small town of Kailua-Kona, Hawaii is transformed into the global center of endurance athletics, where thousands of triathletes swim, bike and run along the rugged coast of western Hawaii. This year is especially unique, as Kona will welcome the female competitors, exclusively, to race!
For the athletes, qualifying for the event represents the culmination of a lifetime of training. The Ironman® World Championships is the end of a long, grueling year of races across the world—an invite-only event that one must qualify for or be selected through a lottery. To be here is to win, already. To cross the finish line at the end of the race is simply the cherry on top for these athletes, many of whom have worked endlessly to be invited to this prestigious event and are seeing Kona for the first time.
An Ironman Competitor In Our Midst
Here at Kona Coffee & Tea we have had the pleasure of employing humans from so many varying walks of life. It's one of the great joys of having a public facing business. Monica Price, a world class triathlete, is gearing up for the Ironman Championships...and still finds the time to be one of our best baristas at the cafe. We are glad to have her.
With the competition just days away, Monica Price is making the final preparations for race day. Learn more about her incredibly inspiring and uplifting story of tragedy and triumph…in her own words!
Triumph and Turmoil: A Journey to the Ironman World Championship
By Monica Price
Qualifying for the Ironman World Championship
It all began with a dream – to push my limits, test my endurance, and conquer the
ultimate challenge: the Ironman World Championship in 2019. Countless hours of
training, steadfast determination, and an unwavering belief which led me to the
momentous outcome, qualifying for the race. The sheer joy and sense of
accomplishment I felt was beyond words.
Conquering the Ironman World Championship
Race day arrived, and with butterflies in my stomach. I stood at the starting line, ready to embark on the grueling journey that lay ahead. The swim was challenging, but I navigated the open water with strength and grace. As I transitioned to the bike leg, I felt a surge of energy, fueled by the roaring crowd and the realization that I was competing among the best athletes in the world.
Pedal stroke after pedal stroke, mile after mile, I persevered. The relentless heat and the demanding hills couldn’t deter me. The cheers of the spectators and the
camaraderie among fellow athletes propelled me forward. The marathon leg was an
arduous test of my endurance, but I pushed through, one step at a time, never losing sight of my goal. Then, as I crossed the finish line, the world stood still. Emotions overwhelmed me as I realized that I had not only completed the Ironman World Championship but also exceeded my own expectations. A sense of euphoria washed over me, engulfed in the orchestra of cheers from the spectators, I basked in the glory of knowing that I had become a part of Ironman history.
The Crushing Blow
But life has a way of teaching us humility. Just when I thought I was on top of the world, everything came crashing down. In the days and months following the race, a series of events unfolded that left me devastated. My best friend was diagnosed with Cancer. In 2020, I lost my home and, my business. In 2021, I was able to find housing and started rebuilding my business. Until my fiancé became ill and passed away suddenly, on July 15, 2021.
A very good friend of mine, and fellow triathlete, was also diagnosed with Cancer and passed away in January of 2023. The emotional upheaval was debilitating. The triumphant high I had experienced on race day was replaced by a profound and deep feeling of loss and despair as I was thrown into a pit I felt I would never climb out of.
Yet, it is in our darkest moments that we find our true strength. Determined not to let adversity define me, I sought solace in the support of my loved ones and the resilience within myself. I channeled my energy into healing, both physically and emotionally. It was a slow and arduous process, but I refused to give up. I trained everyday to find my way back to racing and living again.
I worked on rebuilding my spirit, finding new sources of inspiration, and redefining my life and its purpose. I looked for ways to honor my loved ones. While the path was not smooth, I discovered an inner resolve I never knew existed.
A New Beginning
Today, as I reflect on my journey, I recognize that the Ironman World Championship was not just about a single race but rather a transformative experience that shaped me in profound ways. It taught me the importance of resilience, perseverance, and the ability to rise above life’s challenges.
Although my journey may have taken an unexpected turn, I carry with me the memories of that triumphant day when I stood atop the world, realizing the extraordinary potential within myself. With renewed determination and a deeper understanding of the human spirit, I embrace the next chapter of my life, ready to conquer new challenges and find joy in the pursuit of my dreams.
On June 3, 2023 I again qualified for the Ironman World Championship. An extremely difficult endeavor emotionally, and a full circle moment. I will carry with me Clayton and Beth, along with all those who stood by me and supported me along they way.
This new beginning isn’t just for me. I want to do this to prove to myself and to everyone else who has gone through something that getting back up after a crushing blow is possible. I want to help others see that you can smash through the brick wall, that at the top of the hill is a beautiful view, and that every time you get back up you are stronger, and you can keep going.
To everyone I would like to express my deep gratitude, none of this would have been possible without your support.
See you at the finish!
We are proud to sponsor Monica Price as a TEAM KCTC Ambassador, an Ironman competitor and of course, a member of our Kona Coffee & Tea Ohana. We want to thank her for her contribution and wish her good luck on race day!