Saturday, September 4, 2010

It takes a village

Ironman doesn't just happen. We don't do it by ourselves and without the help of others, it would not be possible. I am going to do my best to put down into words the people responsible...

Trevor - The man who makes it all happen. He planted the seed (even though he doesn't remember) after our first triathlon. On the drive home, after we just about died in the water, he said "we could do an Ironman. He said "sure" a year later when I wanted to do a half ironman. He started looking for an Ironman event that was close enough to home that we could drive. He tolerated all my falling asleep on the couch, looking like crap, throwing things together for dinner and crankiness. He went on every swim, bike ride and run with me, always waiting for me at the finish. Sitting in the ER after my bike crash, he told me that I could still do it, that I didn't have to give up, that I would heal in time. He told me he always knew I would do it because I don't quit things. You are the best friend I have ever had and I am who I am because of you. You make it look so easy.

Doug - The other man who makes it all happen. Doug got us through our first half ironman, then happily signed up for Ironman Canada with us. He's done one before and I think he was more excited for us than we were! We spent a lot of time on the swim, bike and run with Doug. We shared a lot of hard days and a lot of fun. The hard days are always fun with Doug. Being around him makes me feel better. He sees me that way I want to be. He has way more faith in me than I do. Seeing him at the finish line is always something I look forward to. Plus, he makes me laugh.

Doug's family - What an amazing group of people. Seriously. Never met a better group. Melissa, Sera, Malia, Rose, Iwa, Momi, Tim and his wife. We spent lots of time with Doug's family on all our adventures to do marathons, half Ironmans and then Canada. They are kind and giving. I see the amount of love and respect they have for each other, themselves and the world around them and it almost makes me cry. They were our biggest fans during Ironman, they made sure we didn't want for anything in the days before and after the event. One of my favorite moments was Momi getting up at 4 am to braid my hair on race day. This simple act was very emotional for me, very personal and it started my day with some peace. I needed that. These people spent 17 hours on the course, watching and cheering. I still think that was more tough than what I did. They are a part of our memories now. A permanent part of our lives and we love them.

Ron - Thanks to Ron, the bike ride in Ironman was no big deal. This guy lead us on all kinds of crazy bike rides, full of climbs. Always excited to go out and ride 100 miles! He is an amazing cyclist, much stronger than me. But Ron never made me feel like he was waiting around for me. He never made me feel like I should be faster. He probably thought in his mind "what is taking her so long", but it never showed. Another good guy. To the core. We love him too!

Dr. Jake May - I've said it before, this guy is a miracle worker. He has fixed just about every problem my body has had. I crashed my bike 19 days before Ironman. I went to see him and the look on his face when he saw my arm said it all. I knew he was apprehensive that I would get better fast enough for Ironman. But he never said that. He went right to work. He acted as if it was possible and then it became possible. He could have very easily changed my course that day. I was holding out hope that I would be okay. He supported that hope, when he could have squashed it. Because he let me believe, it became true. I know I could not have done Ironman without him. Thanks Jake.

VancouverFit Friends - Wow, where to begin with this. I don't know how we got lucky enough to get in with these guys, but we do feel lucky. We have run with them every Sunday for over a year now and we are a tight knit group. I think we all really know each other, they've seen me at my lowest points, they know I'm a bitch, but they still like me. They cheered for us when we were going off to do our crazy things - marathons, triathlons and then, of course, Ironman. I took a piece of each of them with me on race day. I pictured them in the boats on the swim, cheering me on. I pictured them along the road side during the bike and of course on the run. They sent words of encouragement through text, email and cards. I read and reread those to give myself the courage to start. I didn't want to let them down.

Other Ironman Friends - How can we know so many people who have done this! Randy, Mike, Sarah, Tim, Neil...these people knew what we had done to get to the start line and they knew what was waiting for us on the course and at the finish. They gave us the hope that we could be just like them. Thanks for going before us guys and for letting us know that it would all be okay.

My friends - I often say that I don' t have any friends, boy, it that not true! Looking at my facebook page on the day of Ironman shows what great friends I have. It is so cool to see all the conversations that were going on about me that day. All the people who were watching. Old friends, whom I haven't seen in years, were right there with me that day. Amy, Tina, Tina, Krista, Karen, Shawna, Angie, and so many more. I felt you with me every stroke, pedal and step.

Diane - My hammy. All I wanted was for her to be with me on the run. To walk with me and make me laugh. She texted me the one thing that I kept going back to that day "whatever it takes". I wrote that on my hand and read it all day long. This is a person who has lived those words. She has done whatever it takes to make her life right, to be happy. I am in awe of her. Always.

Mom and Dad - I know they totally do not understand why I do this. I told them they could track us on race day and I knew that my dad wouldn't breath until he saw I was out of the water. I knew they wouldn't go to bed until they saw I had crossed the finish line. When I crossed every timing mat, I thought of them and knew they were watching.

Amanda and Casey - Our employees, they kept the stores under control while we were gone on all our trips, training rides and event days. We never had to worry what was going on at home. Thanks guys, we are lucky to have you.

Our pet sitter Joyce - Our pets are our family and I HATE to be away from them. We could never have done all this if we didn't have someone we could leave with the most valuable things in our life. I never worried about our babies, because I knew Joyce was taking great care of them.

The day of Ironman, I felt like the person that all of these people think I am. I felt like the person I wanted to be. Because of them. Thanks everyone, you will be a part of the memories of this experience forever. And when its your turn, I'll be there for you like you were for me!

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