Wednesday, November 11, 2015
The End of my 7th Season of Racing......and on the Verge of Turning 50 Years Young.
As I prepare to start my official training for IRONMAN #IMMD16 I think it's important to reflect upon what got me to this point. There are far too many people to thank at this point and I will certainly leave someone out if I try and made an exaustive list. Suffice it to say that Sue and Owen are certainly the two most important people in my life and if it wasn't for the two of them I am certain I would not have taken this path. My mother Bernice taught me that you never give up and always finish what you start.
It's funny though, that one single act from our friend Tina is what got this idea of triathlon to germinate in my mind. She sent me the link to the following video. I watched it intently at my desk at work, and as happens to many who watch this, tears started to stream down my face. I remember it well because as the video ended a student came up behind me to ask for some help with their math. As I turned around, I must have totally freaked them out with the tears streaming down my face. They asked if I was OK and I had to explain I had just watched something that was somewhat emotional.
After watching, I thought that if Dick can do that with his son Rick, maybe I could complete a triathlon. I think that what got me with this video wasn't so much the physical feat by the two of them, but more so, the love and devotion each of them have for each other. I have raced with them both numerous times now and consider both of them, Kathy, Bryan and the rest of #TEAMHOYT my dear friends. I hope as I continue to race, I demonstrate to Owen that it isn't so much how fast you finish, or who you beat, but simply that you try your best each and every time.
At that point I was not at all thinking of an Ironman distance race. So I started to search out in 2009 and found out about a sprint distance race in Lowell, MA called the Mill City Triathlon. I contacted the race director, Claire Cloutier (Jeffrey), to explain, that I had dwarfism and wanted to compete in her race. I was SO HAPPY as she said she had no problem with that. Well, that's how it all started. I finished that race, and wanted more. I joined up with Comprehensive Racing that year and raced with them until I joined up with Achilles NYC in late 2012.
I never dreamed it would bring me to where I am today. 35+ triathlons, including 7 half-Iron distance races, 10+ half-marathons, and 6 marathons and a proud member of Achilles International and the Merrimack Valley Striders.
Every time the training or race gets difficult I think back to all the people who told me, "You can't do that because you're too short." and that helps to push through whatever pain I am experiencing.
Prove the doubters wrong. And always remember, that YOUR WILL NEEDS TO BE STRONGER THAN YOUR WON'T.