You know I wasn't sure how my kids would feel about this adventure but here is a story that gave me an idea of what they think so far. We were flying home from Austin after my Horns lost another home game. My 9 year old, Hudson, is known for his very sweet demeanor and warm heart. He noticed a group of U.S. Servicemen flying back home from Iraq. It wasn't long before he was asking us if he could go talk with them. He went up to the guys and said "Thank you for serving us". They were touched and one of them peeled off his velcro American Flag from his uniform and handed it to Huddie. The next words out of my sons mouth were " you know my Dad is doing an Ironman". I wasn't ready for that one but I guess they are proud of me , so now the pressure is really on.
I'm glad you're with me on this journey.
Friday, November 19, 2010
Let me introduce myself and give you a little background on my life up to this point. It is my hope that this will help you understand why I would want to attempt such a “crazy” accomplishment. My wife, Susan, and I have been married for 16 years and are blessed with three children: Chase (11), Hudson(9), and Evie(5). Susan grew up in Houston and I was raised in Austin. Amarillo, TX has been our home for the past 5 years and will be from here on out because we could not be happier anywhere else. We feel that the good Lord brought us to Amarillo, and all the wonderful people we have met here confirm this belief in our hearts.
So, how did I get interested in Triathlons? Well , actually, my competitive nature was sparked by my wife. Susan did her first sprint Tri in Shreveport, LA , where we lived during my residency training , after her friend, Kelly Gosslee, encouraged her to do one with her. Susan was riding a borrowed mountain bike and we still laugh at the story of other cyclists passing her during the race shouting “ Go Mountain bike Girl !”. The next year she convinced me to make an attempt at my first Triathlon. The race went without incident , and it was a great experience, but my medical training and having a third baby took over my free time for a few years.
Once we moved to Amarillo and got settled in with my new practice, I had more free time. My family joined the Downtown Athletic Club (DAC) to continue pursuing fitness. Exercise had always been my way of managing stress early in medical school ,and continued to be through residency, so I wasn’t about to stop once I reached private practice . The DAC is where I met Spencer who is a very good friend of mine today. He and I share that dedication to being fit and pushing our bodies to their limits. He asked one day if I would be interested in training for a Triathlon down in Lubbock, TX and the competitive spirit was rekindled. We started the whole process of learning what Triathlons were all about . He is a gifted swimmer and running came pretty easy for me but cycling was a whole new experience for the both of us. Eventually we flew to Dallas to purchase our first Cervelo Tri bikes and have been riding them into the ground ever since. We completed the Olympic distance Tri the Summer of 2008, and then my wife convinced me to shoot for the Half Ironman at Buffalo Springs a few months later. That is when I got in touch with Tim Key who is a world class Triathlete and coach. He helped me finish the 70.3 race ahead of my goal. Needless to say he was the first person I needed to contact after I signed up for Ironman Texas.
So what happened in the 2 years since my last Triathlon? Well, I am still devoted to keeping fit and my medical practice has thankfully grown and matured. I have also become surrounded by really exceptional people who share that same love of fitness and the outdoors. Mountain biking, cycling, and snow skiing with friends and family take up a lot of my free time. Good buds of mine, Pat and William, introduced me to Gary . Gary has finished 7 Ironman races and has not even reached the ripe old age of 30 yet! William and Gary decided that they were going to train for the Inaugural Ironman Texas in May 2011. I was reluctant at the beginning because the training weather in Amarillo during the winter and early Spring can be brutal. On October 2nd, Hudson’s 9th Birthday, something came over me and I signed up for the big race in the Woodlands. I truly felt a calling that I believe was from God. The Woodlands is just down the road from where my in laws live. Maybe the fact that Blanche , my mother in law, was in town visiting that day too was the final push for my decision. Gary’s enthusiastic encouragement when I sent him a text about signing up sealed the deal. So the story begins and Lord knows where it takes us……….