Why do I get so emotional when watching the start of an Ironman?  Actually, this was the first one I have ever watched in person because I am usually competing, but I can tell you I was holding back tears as the gun went off.  It is was a strange feeling.  Seeing all of those dedicated athletes toeing the line, ready to take on the day.  All of the lives effected by all of the training.  The long days and the late nights sacrificed in preparation of this day.

As I watched, I thought about Cortney.  She is the most dedicated, intense person I know.  Everything she does was in preparation for this race.  She has committed herself to making herself a better athlete.  She is 5’4, 100lbs and she is in the mix with people double her size.  Usually I am out there with her, so I can relate, but seeing her alone in that sea of people makes me appreciate who she is and the determination she possesses.  I cannot describe the pride I have in Cortney for her dedication, her drive, and her determination.  Two years ago she was new to the sport, wearing underwear under her bike shorts, and using a rearview mirror on her bike.  Now, she is one of the top overall amateur women race after race and getting stronger everyday.  This doesn’t happen by chance.  She works harder than anyone I know, she doesn’t skip workouts, and she does, and eats, what it takes to help her perform best on race day.  We can learn something from Cortney’s dedication.

The crowd surrounding me was quiet with awe as the athletes attacked the water.  An Ironman start can never be described properly.  You have to see it.  The mass of green and pink swim caps flowing into the water.  It looks elegant from a far, but, I know, it is chaos when you are in the mix.  As the mass flows into the water it seems to almost float along the top in a uniform manner.  It eventually spreads out, but for those first few minutes there is nothing else in sport that compares.

Sure, it’s great to see some guy hit a home run, or somebody else dunk a basketball, but why doesn’t ESPN cover triathlon.  It would be so inspirational to the everyday public to see the start of an Ironman.  These aren’t overpaid athletes, they are everyday people, but the inspiration and respect a sight such as this garners is not like any other spectacle in sport.  In our current society where fast food rules and video games are the sport of choice, shouldn’t we be promoting a sport we all can take part in.  I watch LeBron dunk and I know I can’t do that, but if someone were to watch an IM start, they may say, “Hey, with the right dedication, I can do that.”  I just don’t understand main stream media.

I just wanted to tell you that I was emotional on Sunday.  I think watching IM Coeur d’Alene has given me a new respect for the sport.  To see all of those people putting it on the line for 8,9,10,11,12,13,14,15,16,17 hours says something about humans.  It says, “You can do it.”  An Ironman is hard, just like life.  Sometimes you have to walk, but you have to keep moving forward.  Stay positive because as soon as those negative thoughts creep in, it is over.  We all can learn something from Ironman athletes.  Go watch one, you’ll see.  RACE HARD!



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