Monday, June 8, 2015

Tortoises and Hares

In my little corner of the world, I recommend you drink bottled water.  There are trees, and birds, and squirrels, and families, and Ironmen.  More specifically, there are IronMoms (identified by chronological accomplishment).  Currently there are two besides myself within less than a 1/4 mile walk of each other.  Until recently the "saturation level" of IronMoms was 4 inside a .75 mile radius.  Then #2 moved out of the neighborhood.  Number 3 has not expressed much interest in adding the term "multiple" to her title, and that is okay.  Some people simply do not embrace the lifestyle of continued 140.6 training. 

IronMom Number 1 has a history.  And a fan club - one of her loudest supporters is my very own #KonaKid (he was one of her students in high school).  Number One also has had, as we all do, some Life Challenges along the way.  She is a single mom teaching high school full time with one daughter in college and another entering her senior year of high school.  She first became an IronMom in 2008 at Ironman Couer d'Alene, adding "multiple finisher" to her crown in 2011 at Ironman Florida.  Then her small world fell apart, so-to-speak.  She got "sick."

My first interaction with IM#1 came when I was still a stay-at-home mom/Running Shop Girl.  My younger son walks past her house going to and from the bus stop every day.  We passed her house one morning and her garage door was wide open.  I knew both her girls were at school as was she.  So, I e-mailed her school address and waited.  Little did she realize the Pandora's box she had just opened (insert evil laugh here...).  She replied with the door code, thanking me for noticing, and I went up the hill to shut her house up safe and sound.

Flash forward a couple of years and I start "stopping by" when ever I see said garage door open and a vehicle that indicates someone is home.  I should mention that this made her a bit uncomfortable in the beginning.  She is quite like a turtle:  she prefers to keep to herself; hide inside her shell; and pull up the flap(s) when she doesn't wish to be bothered.  Anyone who knows me knows that this is nearly always completely contrary to how I function in daily life.  So, we moved forward slowly, getting to know bits and pieces of each other's lives and how our children move about in society.  Me, very nearly always the instigator in any interaction, but her slowly warming to the fact that there could be neighborhood friends who truly are looking out for her interests.

Over the last few months, she and I have entered into a coach-athlete partnership.  She WANTS to regain that which she feels she has lost over the last couple of years:  those feelings of being ALIVE and FIT and STRONG and CAPABLE.  Her mind remembers all too well, and her body wants to jump back in.  She has good days and bad days.  But, then again, don't we all?  She and I have an agreement.  A pact of sorts.  We will both complete FIVE 140.6 distance events by the year we turn 50.  We WILL do it.  And, I have the feeling that our FIFTH race will be one we both agree on, and finish together.  Perhaps even side-by-side.  Who knows what the future holds?  I know only that the miles and hours of training and friendship will be priceless.

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Mac's "SwimSTRONG" Foundation

Mac's "SwimSTRONG" Foundation
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