My fourth Ironman is in the books. Lake Placid, New York is a beautiful place and the trip was amazing. Beth and I chose this location because not only could I participate in the Ironman event, but we were celebrating our 20th wedding anniversary and the venue did not disappoint! We won’t soon forget our time there.
Beth and I have been on this incredible journey together. We are such a great team. For sports fans, we are like Jordan and Pippen, Stockton and Malone. Insert any classic duo, I’ll draw comparisons. We started young, continued to get better, weathered all of the storms, grew strong together, and now we’re really hard to beat. I cannot participate in any of these Ironmans without her, as I would fail miserably. She supports me at every turn, during training and on race day. She is omnipresent on the course and just when I’m at my lowest, she’s at the next corner getting in my face, lifting me up. She is the best Sherpa.
WHY do I do this? Or why do WE do this, Beth and I as a team? These Ironman races can seem very selfish, as self-centered athletes get a bunch of expensive gear and take on a lot of miles on challenging courses so that they can brag to people. For me, it has always been about overcoming something and about personal improvement, but mostly it’s a test. Making myself uncomfortable and seeing how I react; how do I fix the problem? How do I overcome the obstacle? It’s about accepting the challenge.
In our CCDS community, we see our kids get tested like this every day. Obstacles they can’t control pile up in front of them and they fight life’s battles one by one. They didn’t sign up, pay a bunch of money, or buy a bunch of expensive gear. Our kids got handed the challenge. So, what do they need to overcome their obstacles? Just like I need Beth for these races, our CCDS kiddos need all of us. Their teammates and their community taking the journey with them. Caring, supporting, understanding, and advocating. Parents, family, friends, or strangers who are willing to support.
My goal for this fundraiser was to add breadth to that support system. Not just the financial aspect, but to raise awareness for CCDS, and let people in on the tests that confront our children every day. To give our kids a larger and wider system of people doing all of that caring, supporting, and advocating.
Ironman Lake Placid was a rough day. It was my longest, hardest, Ironman yet. It wrecked my body, crushed my psyche, and made me question whether I could continue to the finish. But when those thoughts crept in, two things quickly swept them away, Beth in my face lifting me up, and the thought of our kids and our community working so hard to get to a much more important finish line.
Massive thanks to everyone who has contributed to our cause. We are incredibly humbled by the support we have received so far, and the journey continues with a renewed energy.
A special thank you to Jerry for your never-ending hard work and commitment in raising money to further fund advocacy for newborn screening. To support Jerry’s Fundraiser, please click here.