The other side

It’s spring time!  For some that means gardening season while others it means…RACE time! Not only does nature give birth to beautiful, colorful blossoms and lush greenery but it’s also a time that athletes come out of hibernation, out of the darkness – particularly runners and triathletes.

Behind every athlete is an inspiring story. A story, much like nature that blooms into bright, beautiful colors.  When spring blossoms, some plants go through trial and error taking a few seasons before they can mature and grow into a masterpiece for your yard.  Athletes mature over seasons. Training and racing is not something that comes easy for anyone in fact, we have our trial and errors as well.  As I revisited Ironman Louisville last August, this time to watch my girlfriends finish their first, it was an emotional but beautiful day.  Being on the other side is a whole new level for an athlete.  We can understand the roller coaster ride and the challenges to achieve big goals.  I’ve never been so emotional watching a race (I wasn’t even emotional during mine). But knowing one of my friends who crashed a year prior and shattered her clavicle only to come to Louisville for redemption finishing hard and strong brought on a lot of tears.  I trained with her and 2 other girlfriends and watching them finish brought on tears of joy! 

The Fab Four -- Ironman Complete
There are more stories out there.  Every athlete faces challenges and sometimes it takes several attempts to achieve our goals. We all start with baby steps. The famous mottos “Never Give Up” or “Anything is Possible” is quite literal.  Diana Nyad, a long distance swimmer, tried to swim from Cuba to Florida 5 times in 35 years. She never gave up…she fought for it.  I know several people personally who have overcome tremendous pain, physically and emotionally (many have lost loved ones during intense training or prior to a big race), to be who they are today and fight to finish the race.

Don’t be afraid to volunteer or attend a race around your neighborhood.  For there is a beautiful story behind each athlete you see swim by you, pedal by you, or stride by you.  No matter if it’s a 5K or 140.6 miles, those athletes have come a LONG way without giving up.  Today, there are a lot of races and I dedicate this post to each and every one of my friends out there that are fighting their way to the finish.  Let these athletes inspire you.   If you can’t attend one, I have attached a few of the MANY
inspiring stories below from people I know and others that were circulating social media.

Happy race season!

This story warms my heart. A woman who never gave up, a police officer who took her hand and walked by her side to the finish, and an inspiration to her son:
Woman who loses over 200 pounds

A firefighter who nearly died and completed an Ironman:
Firefighter, Matthew Long

This former Navy Seal is racing today! Shot 27 times while fighting for his country, and raising funds for wounded warriors: 
Former Navy Seal, Mike Day

This guy lost his upper extremity to an electrical accident on the job, but didn’t stop him from swimming, biking or running. In fact, he’s racing in Kona this year:
Hector Picard

The most inspiring women in endurance sports….the one who raced in a hand bike, was in front of me the whole time during my Half-Ironman in 2013:
25 Inspiring Women in Endurance Sports

This one hits close to home. A beautiful story about a friend of mine who is also racing today in Florida – amazing story:
Carrie Tillott

This is a great organization that helps kids overcome obstacles particularly obesity. This started out as a study. Kids started having joint pain therefore, they started to help them swim first to lose weight, then bike, then by the time they started to train for running, losing weight helped ease their joint pain:
Youth Empowered to Succeed

Another non-profit organization for kids with disabilities to be involved with racing. - sometimes, running and being active brings out joy and happiness:
Ainsley's Angels

This is a story of a young track star who runs despite her severe symptoms of multiple sclerosis.  MS affects everyone differently at various levels and it's hard to believe how some may find strength through times like this: 

Quote of the Day: “You may have to fight a battle more than once to win it.” ~ Margaret Thatcher

Bible verse of the day: Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. ~Galatians 6:9


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