“Always go with the choice that scares you the most, because that’s the one that is going to require the most from you.” – CAROLINE MYSS
Racing an ironman is one of the toughest, grueling, intimidating, overwhelming events one can endure. I have never been more afraid to fail at something in my entire life.
In a matter of a few hours the emotional ups and downs you experience will test every human to the very core. When I think about that moment of putting my wetsuit on race day my heart immediately starts to race. When I recall standing on the pier in Oceanside, California with fog covering the water I just remember thinking, “Ohhh my gosh, what did I get myself into?” When your toes touch the cold ocean water as you walk down the ramp you feel as if you are literally about to have a heart attack. I could honestly see my heart beating through my wetsuit. True story.
Then there is the moment when you are suppose to swim out to the starting line. It was at this time I starting hyperventilating. I mean true, can’t breathe, think I am about to die, full on panic attack. I remember everyone started to swim towards the start and I took 2 strokes, swallowed about a gallon of water and flipped over on my back! I was not even at the starting line and there I was, belly up, doing a back stroke while every single person passed me to get to the starting line. I thought to myself, “I can’t make it. How in the world am I going to swim 1.2 miles right now? Could I just back stroke it the whole time? I thought, I literally cannot complete this thing and make it out alive.”
I almost turned around at that point before the gun even went off. I tried justifying why it would be ok to drop out. Then, I had to make a quick decision to give it a try and if I die, I die or just turn back around. At that moment, I thought about every single person that helped me along the way and got me to that point. I thought about my friends and family who believe in more than I believe in myself sometimes. I thought about the athletes who I met the day before through the Challenged Athletes Foundation. Everyone else gave me the strength to start that race that early April morning. I just can’t help but want to do the same for someone else.
This year I was thinking about not raising money for the Challenged Athletes Foundation and just purchasing the general Ironman entry fee and getting out the easy way. But, the more I have been thinking about this the more I just could not pull the trigger. The main reason is because I feel bad asking people for money. I did not want to bother those folks who helped me out last year. However, it is not about me and my comfort zone. It is about those people who lives were changed because of CAF and to me it is 100% worth trying. I want to raise money for the Challenged Athletes Foundation again. The CAF athletes got me through my first half ironman by sharing their stories of struggle and triumph. The stories they shared about such tragic events happening in their lives and how they overcame was the most inspiring thing I have ever witnessed. The Challenged Athletes Foundation pairs up with Ironman and raises funds for people with permanent physical disabilities. CAF provides American military personnel, veterans and first responders the necessary resources to compete.
Athletics has been a part of my life since I was a small child and I can honestly say that without question without it in my life I would have ended up a very different person. I believe in the power of athletics to change lives. I believe that it can take someone out of depression. I believe that it is part of my purpose on earth to provide that to someone that might otherwise miss the opportunity of experiencing such a powerful thing.
Please help me reach my goal of raising $2,000 for the Challenged Athletes Foundation by Jan, 2016.
You can donate on my personal CAF webpage at:
Thank you and God Bless!