I grew up riding horses competitively for over ten years. Over those years I had three horses that were kept less than a mile down the road. Horses are a lot of work. Mucking stalls, grooming, feeding, throwing hay up in the loft, etc. You get the idea. Luckily, I had tremendous support from my mother. She did all the morning chores while I got ready for school and we often split the evening chores. She carted my and my horse’s butt around the state and New England just about every weekend for shows and events. She was my number one supporter during those years. And I certainly miss her and her support everyday…
|Getting ready for showmanship|
|Duke, Phoebe, and my Mom|
Triathlon is an individual sport. We swim, bike, run all by ourselves. Our loved ones often think we are crazy to get up at the ass crack of dawn for an early swim workout, ride our bikes for 5+ hours on a beautiful Saturday afternoon, or run any where up to 20 miles for fun! They wonder why instead of putting thousands of dollars into our children’s college fund we invest that money into expensive race wheels that will make us five minutes faster. They complain they never see us or when they do we are the walking dead because we are hungry, sore, and tired.
But, at the end of the day many of them still love us and support us. While at Lake Placid this year I saw so many athlete’s family members wearing team shirts and carrying signs to support their athletes over their 140.6 mile journey. Some family members were glad when the day was over because they get their athlete back. Others have been through the drill numerous times before and still do it over and over again. The atmosphere at an Ironman is insane and very contagious!
Often times athletes forget to tell their friends, families, volunteers, and complete strangers how grateful they truly are for their support, encouragement, and smiles on race days. Many spectators don’t realize what a simple smile or “good job” can do for an athlete when all they just want to do is curse the world, puke, and lie on the side of the road and die. It can completely change an athlete’s perspective of the race and encourage them to finish.
For me personally, seeing a friend or family member on the side line means to world to me. Rev3 is on Sunday. I’m lucky that the race is on my home turf so I know a ton of people racing. Seeing a familiar face is always a wonderful thing. I’m really hoping that many people will come out to support me and my fellow racers. I know I have been working my butt off for the past 8 months to train for this race. It’s my big race and I would love to see my friends and family at the finish line for a smile, a hug, or a simple slap on the back and a “good job.” I know many others feel the same way so take a few hours out of your days and come support ALL the athletes racing on Sunday in OOB. Your smile or “you’re doing great” can really make a difference in an athlete’s mind!