I don’t normally care to acknowledge the anniversary of breaking my back. It’s a day that I wish never happened. But today’s a little different. Whereas 8 years ago I was being carried out of the woods on a stretcher, this morning I was carried into Kailua Bay in Kona, Hawaii, for a practice swim at the Ironman World Championship. How fucking cool is that? :)
The theme for this year's championship is "kūpa'a", which means steadfast, firm and immovable, to believe in and be loyal to yourself, and to your surroundings. I like this a lot, and there's a good chance that the next time you see me I'll be wearing a piece of clothing that has this word on it #boughtwaytoomuchattheironmanstore.
A few years ago I asked my daughters if I should focus on trying to qualify for the Paralympics, or the Ironman World Championships (Kona). They thought about it for a bit, and Chloe said “I think you should go for Kona, everyone who finishes gets a medal”. Pretty good advice from a 9 year old.
So this Saturday, if you’re watching my progress online (I’m number 164), don’t concern yourself with the place that I’m in amongst my competitors, as long as I’m moving forward towards the finish just be happy for me that I’m getting the chance to do something really special, in one of the most beautiful places in the world. Thanks to everyone who has helped me to get here (far too many to list you all).
My race wave starts at 12:55 EST. Go to www.Ironman.com and look for the “Athlete Tracker” link.