I remember that day like it was yesterday. My wife, who works for MD Anderson Cancer Hospital, challenged me only a few months before to run in the event since she was one of the race volunteers. Crossing that finish line really did a lot to me and my family. It was the start of a journey that I am still on today. I remember walking so proud after the race was over. I was sweaty and definitely stinky, but I did not want to take that race t-shirt off. I don't know if it was the adrenaline talking, the inspiration of watching the movie Running the Sahara afterwards while napping after the race, or the fact that I knew that something that I always considered impossible was now included in my "Completed" life list. Somewhere, somehow, I blurted out, I want to be an IRONMAN.
Rachel laughed at first, but soon realized that I was serious. Neither one of us knew what I was getting into that day, but I don't think, if given the chance, we would change that decision that was made. We have seen a lot, and now that I am joined by other athletes who are trying to accomplish the impossible to benefit other children that are affected by congenital anomalies it is definately worth it.
I decided to sign up for the S.C.O.P.E 5K event this year, not to be competitive, but to pay tribute to the event and cause that was the first step to becoming an Ironman. This time I had a little extra baggage, I decided to strap Shawn into the jogging stroller. The gun sounded, and we took off. Shawn was having a great time on the course. He would wave at everyone on the course as we went by and clapped nearly the whole final mile of the 5K. Finally as we came around the final corner, he saw Mommy, and perked up in the stroller. I grabbed Rachel's hand so we could cross the finish line as a family. It was an amazing experience that I will not forget for a very long time.
The day was not over for me though. Instead of going home and taking a nap on the couch, I prepared the bike for a century ride (100 miles) to Galveston via Surfside Beach. This has now become a typical Saturday for me as I gear up for the Ironman 70.3 Texas in Galveston next week (April 1st) and finally for the Ironman Texas on May 19th.
If you are near the Houston/Galveston area on April 1st, 2012, I highly recommend that you come out to the Ironman 70.3 Texas in Galveston to see what it is all about. We will have the team tent out at the event so spectators and teammates can stay out of the sun while watching the event along, we will have Shawn's Anomaly temporary tattoos available to show your support, and who knows, you may be able to get a chance to see Lance Armstrong competing in the event as well. I know it will be a great day for so many of us. I hope so see everyone there next weekend.