This past weekend my daughter-in-law, Suzanne, competed in the Ironman triathlon…in this case Ironwoman. This event consists of completing the following three grueling segments consecutively without rest:
1. 2.4 mile swim
2. 112 mile bike ride
3. Full marathon (26.2 miles)
The swim began at 7:00 A.M. and the competitors had until midnight to finish the course. That’s 17 hours…think about it. The temperature averaged in the mid 90’s from 11:00 A.M. on.
As we followed Suzanne throughout the day, from one punishing event after another, I couldn’t help but marvel what she must have gone through in preparation. Keep in mind, the training consumed the better part of a year…and after witnessing the endurance displayed, I certainly understand why.
I can only imagine the inner struggles that took place during the weak moments…the cold winter mornings…the sore joints…the hot summer afternoons…the cold swims…the metaphorical brick walls. And to think…not one weak link broke…absolutely amazing. They don’t call it the Ironman for nothing…my mistake…the Ironwoman.
All I can say is, she took the slogan “Refuse to Lose” and turned it inside out…upside down…chewed it up…and spit it out.
I would be foolish to think I could relate to such an astonishing accomplishment, but I will say this…I have always believed with all my heart that one can achieve anything desired…so long as enough emotion is embedded in it. I witnessed this reflecting so beautifully through the tears in Suzanne’s eyes as she joyfully jogged through the finish line 13 hours, 36 minutes and 46 seconds after she began.
There are no words to describe the admiration I have for someone with so much grit and determination. A true testament to the human spirit…because I know many times…the mind and the body didn’t want any part of it.
Suzanne…you are truly the “IRONWOMAN!”
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