I thought I’d share a funny story from when I was at Ironman Madison a few weeks ago.
I was at the finish line with a friend cheering the athletes on as they were coming in. And even though they look happy for the most part, they look anything but fresh. They’ve almost traveled 140.6 on their own power, so it makes sense that they look worn and ready to be done. But there were three people who came down the finish chute in a row that really showed what it could mean to “struggle” through.
The first man who comes running down the chute looks to be around 42 and was running with a visible limp. “Alright man. Keep it up,” I thought. “Way to not let that leg hold you back.
The man ran past and crossed the finish line.
Next a woman, probably in her mid-30s came running down the chute. She was slightly barreled over and seemed to be having trouble with her stomach. “Push through and finish strong,” I thought while cheering. “Your stomach can start recovering in a few more seconds.”
Like a champion, she ran past and crossed the finish line.
Finally, a man likely in his mid-50s came running down the chute. He has a grimace on his face and is clutching the left side of his chest. “C’mon guy,” I thought. “Don’t let that…um…heart attack…slow you…uh GOOOO!”
And he made it across the line without the aid of paramedics.
I don’t think anyone looks forward to struggling. But when someone is struggling, they’re still fighting for it, and that’s gotta be worth something.
True story by the way.
In other news, I have the Chicago Marathon on Sunday. My bib number is 10413 in case anyone wants to track it. I’ll call it a good day as long as I don’t have any problems with my leg, stomach, or heart. I don’t think that’s asking too much. Maybe no rain either.