Tue, 28 August 2007
Several children sat to play a game. They took turns playing the game, moving the pieces around the board. They played and played until there was finally a winner. The child that won stood up and yelled, "I won, what do I get?" A young boy that was also playing the game smiled and said "You win joy."
On the surface the children didn't catch what was going on. They didn't know what just happened. The teacher in the room did. The boys mother had cancer and was almost certain to die.
I bring up this story not to preach or teach. I bring up this story as September 9th, 2007 is important for so many reasons. I have had a hard time bringing this up, but maybe, just maybe I should?
It has been 10 years since my daughter completed treatment at the University of Wisconsin Hospital. It is the very same hospital that we will run past on the Ironman route. I will be able to see that hospital so many times. I will first see it about mile 5 and will last see the hospital about mile 21. I run past it in training almost daily. On Ironman day, I'm sure it will be different. If all goes well, I will see Abby at the finish line. I will see her for the FIRST time at the finish line. She has been to races with me in San Diego where I had it all planned out. I had it set. I was to run up to her, grab her out of the crowd and run to the finish line. That never happened. Might this year be different? I'm not sure.
Either way, the last few miles of any race are emotional. For me, time is not all the important. I can honestly sit here today and say that I have given all I have to my team. I have given all I have to my Coach. My family is far different. Yes, I have given all I have, but they have given far more to me. Once Ironman is over, it's time for me to repay them. I have given 500+ hours to training that I could have spent with them. I have given almost the same amount of time just thinking about the race.
When the cannon goes off on Sunday, I will focus on the swim. I will get on my bike and work hard keeping consistent power, eating, and drinking to stay in the race. Once I get on the run I will start to dream about the finish line. At times I don't want this journey to end. At other times, I can hardly wait. Come Sunday about mile 23 I will focus on family. I will smile and dream about that finish line. Will I get to carry Abby and Austin across that line? Only time will tell. All I can tell you is the UW Hospital will be the cornerstone of that day. Our family lived in that hospital 8 months. After 10 years, its time for me to finally let it go and celebrate. Its time for me to take a cue from that boy playing the game. What did I win? Joy. The joy of seeing Abby at the finish line 10 years later.
Category:Ironman Wisconsin -- posted at: 9:54am EST
Mon, 27 August 2007
To make it easier, we have all decided to have 3 meet up times. They will all take place at the same place. So PLEASE come and check it out so we can meet and chat!
Corner of Wilson St and MLK Blvd. See map!
Category:Ironman Wisconsin -- posted at: 11:23am EST
Wed, 15 August 2007
This is going to be short. No long story. No long detail. This is just a very sincere thank you to all those that have supported me during this journey. My son. My wife. My daughter. My friends. My Team. So many I don't even know. Everyone that had a hand in this journey. I Thank You. I will have a better "thank you" after the Ironman. For now, I just wanted you all to know that I really do appreciate all the help and support you have giving me. I plan to give it my all. There may never be another Ironman for me. Life is so short and I plan to take in every ounce of this race. I have chills thinking about it. I will run this race. I will enjoy my health. I will enjoy life. I will do whatever it takes this year. I will do all that, but I will never take anything for granted!
Category:SimplyStu -- posted at: 6:03pm EST
Tue, 7 August 2007
I loved to play golf with my dad. It was a treat. It was a gift. I would get so excited when I actually got to play with him. He was so majestic. We were in Florida at the time, and I remember that day like it was yesterday. I was 13 or 14 at the time. The day just didn't go well. I remember hitting the ball like I had NEVER played before. I turned into a snotty kid. I did it all wrong. I think I even tossed my clubs. My dad, as I have written about many times, never said a word. He just watched. It got worse and I was just being a snot. I didn't even like myself. I remember that I shot 44. I was SOOOOOO mad. It was an easy course, and a 44 was just not good. I was soooooo mad.
After the first nine my dad let me have it. In the calmest of all voices he talked about life, about enjoying the game. It was as if he was saying - "Hey, you better enjoy each and every day you can play. You have talent. You have so much that others dream they had." He told me about a day, his worst day, when the same thing happened with his dad.
I stood on the 10th tee and was so sad that I let my dad down. Why did I do that! I can remember looking at my dad on the tee. He just looked at me, smiled, and i knew what I had to do. I had the best nine holes of golf I ever played. I shot 33. Front nine 44, back nine 33 for a 77. Yeah the 33 was cool, but when I walked off the 18th green, I can remember my dad walking over to me. He gave me a big hug, smiled, and said "Don't ever forget that. On your worst day, you have the power to bring it back."
I was thinking about this story when a friend of mine called me last night. I trained with him almost every day for the 2003 and 2005 Ironman. He has since had back problems that has made riding a bike almost impossible. When he called, he wanted to make it clear to me that this is a gift. He would give anything to be in my shoes. I think most people that do Ironman start to get emotional during these last 30 days. Some days I want the training to be over. I want to return to a normal life. Other days, I get so sad because I don't want it to end. The one thing that IS and always will be consistent is this - I will never take Ironman for granted.
Category:SimplyStu -- posted at: 5:10pm EST
Thu, 2 August 2007
The Ironman Wisconsin videos are now available in "Windows" format. Many people have asked if I would convert them to a more friendly format so here you go. Just click on the video you want to see:
Category:SimplyStu -- posted at: 9:46am EST