But for the last 6 months, the view was much closer. Kind of like seeing... for lack of a better analogy... how the sausage gets made. I saw the ugly parts, the downsides, the struggles. I did the best I could to support and encourage. For the first time in my life I was on the other side. I wasn't the athlete striving for a huge goal, but the woman behind the scenes watching someone she loves chase down a finish line of epic proportions. There were days I thought "I couldn't do this, what he's doing. Not yet."
I made the trek to CDA more often than he could make the trek here. I did whatever I could to make things easier and not to demand too much of my super tired athlete. There were days when we didn't see eye to eye, and frustrations bubbled up. There were tears on my side, behind the scenes, as I faced growing pains. I learned a lot. Not just about someone training for a race, but about our relationship. By the time we rolled through race nerves weekend, and into the final days and then to the start line, I was eager to see the culmination of the journey. When he took to the water, his nerves probably dissolved. Mine skyrocketed.
Ironman Sunday was a bizarrely emotional day for me. I was so excited, so anxious, and so weirdly teary eyed over it. I stalked his splits. I didn't leave downtown. I didn't go nap for fear of missing something. I might be a bit of a crazy ironfan. But I couldn't believe it was happening finally. Every time I saw him on course, I was more excited. I was so proud to be the ironfan, the sherpa, the girlfriend of the athlete on that day.
|So. Much. Fun.|
And the desire... for my own day, was growing. I was so inspired by the journey, by his drive and as always, by the race itself, by every friend and stranger on the course. By the time I finally saw him running down Sherman toward the finish, toward Mike Reilly and the words "You are an ironman" I was so full of happiness, pride, and ridiculous excitement. I can't really contain the cheesiness even now. We screamed at him and then sprinted down past the finish, trying to listen to for his name as we raced to the finish corral. After he got his finisher picture, I got the hug I'd been waiting for since the start of all of it. I was so happy to hug him, and say "You freaking did it!". It meant so much afterward to hear words of thanks from him for what I could contribute to the journey. It was an amazing day, and it wasn't even my day!
|"Are we smiling? Does he care that I'm plastering this all over my blog? Nah, nobody reads it anyway!"|
...so I took the leap, I signed up for IMCDA 2015.
Here we go!