The Finish Line

I’m baaaacccckkkkkkk!

I have been away taking care of some things for my paying job and getting my certification but I’m back!  I take my exam Thursday so hopefully I will pass and everything will be back to normal.

This weekend I attended my first Ironman competition and I have to share my experience.  No, I do not have the Ironman bug now (those people are crazy!), but I do have a huge place in my heart for those competitors now.

While the majority of an extremely long and cold day was spend waiting, the last two hours or so were spent at the finish line.  We had the best seats in the house – that spot just past where they cross the finish line. Being there was a very moving experience. I witnessed over and over the flood of emotions that overcame some people as they released everything they’ve been holding back for the past 12 or so hours.  I got to watch people rejoice when they crossed the line and heard their name.  I witnessed a woman do a kart wheel.  A few of them literally jumped for joy. I got to watch people tear up as the realization of what they just completed hit them. Finished. Everything they trained for. They. Did. It. They are an iron man. No one can ever take that from them.  I was right there to watch couples cross the line together and embrace; an 84 year old man and a 70 year old woman; my dad greeted by his insanely supportive wife. It was an experience I’ll never forget.  (Yes, I cried a few times.)

I think my dad is an absolute lunatic to put his body through that. I get it though.  All these other people are doing it, why not me?  But why would you pay to be in that much pain (a lot of money at that)? I saw some people come across that line, including him, that should never ever do that again.  And I saw a woman in a lot of pain that possibly never crossed the finish line.  Yet he’s signing up for another (#lunatic).  “It’s not even fun!” was my response to that.

We do the things that aren’t fun because accomplishing the goal is.  “The days you are most uncomfortable are the days you learn the most about yourself.” True statement.  You learn what you can handle and what you can’t – and most times you can handle a lot more than you think you can. You learn what you like and what you don’t.  If you’re smart, you’ll use those painful experiences to help make yourself a better person.

I didn’t do a painful thing this weekend – that was my dad – but I am going through some other painful things.  I’m learning a lot about myself through those things.  No, they aren’t as painful as some things that are going on around the world, but that doesn’t make them less painful.  It just makes me more grateful.

I learned some things this weekend.  I, for one, know I never ever want to swim in open waters when it’s 45 degrees outside with 25 MPH winds.  I know I absolutely will be volunteering at the finish line at his next race.  I love to help and encourage and I want to be there for those people when they have just given everything they have and need someone to carry them home.

P.S. Here’s the video of my dad crossing the finish line.

The winner of #IMFL - Lionel Sanders

The winner of #IMFL – Lionel Sanders

Race swag for Team Clay

Race swag for Team Clay

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