Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Postcript: In which I answer Ironman

Sunday, while Alex and I were racing, Stella was preparing to be born and Mike was preparing to die. The two of them haunted my thoughts all day. Mike's death was incredibly unfair, an avid outdoors man, athlete, teacher struck down by cancer almost before he and his family could absorb the situation. Stella's birth, the first grandchild on both sides - another girl/woman born into a family of legendary, strong, independent women. Coming in and going out.

What did an artificial event set up for privileged, pampered humans matter really in the end? But there you see was my answer for Ironman. Why did I deserve that medal, those bragging rights? I got the medal for embracing life as Stella embraced her life with her first breath, as Mike embraced his everyday that he taught, parented, canoed, and kayaked.

I've come to believe that the very essence of our humanness is found with endurance sports. They are seemingly solitary, self absorbed pursuits but those of us who take that route to life know, perhaps more than others, that we are a team out there. We are all Iron, those who swam, biked and ran, and those who encouraged and supported.

Please take your life and use it up, wear it out, get blisters, chafe and sunburns. If you choose triathlon, and I hope you do, I wish you well on that journey. You will take on a lifestyle that is unparalleled. Either way, drop me a line, tell me your story.

1 comment:

  1. Susie, Bravo. This is awesome. You just completed a massive IronMan race, and I just stepped into my first cycling race and we both came away transformed. I also had thoughts about the medals, death and new beginnings. There is definitely something there.

    Thank you.