So this is what I call paying it forward. After my weight loss journey, I decided that I wanted to help others that had desires to be involved in endurance sports. Endurance sports to me starts at 5K and goes all the way to Ironman distance triathlon events. This year has been an amazing year of events for me personally, but also for those that I help. I have seen my athletes go from "I can't" to "Holy Shit I did". We had 12 people finish the Colfax Marathon, 6 of which had never run a half marathon before. I was honored as I fought back the tears seeing how happy my athletes, my friends really, were. Sometimes I am the only one that believes in them, that sees they can accomplish anything they want to accomplish. I struggle finding the ways to keep some motivated, while I have to tell others to slow down! But in the end, they all shine and reach something they never even thought possible just a few short weeks before. I am proud of my athletes, and honored to be the "chosen one" to help them reach their goals.
But last weekend was definitely different. It isn't typically a person's fear that I am helping them to overcome. Usually, they just don't believe they can do it, but don't necessarily have a fear of something. For my partner Carlos, it was a whirlwind of events last week. First off it was our 8 year anniversary and I purchased him a new car. Surprised him with our Civil Union in the State of Colorado, and I dragged him out for his first Sprint Distance Triathlon in Boulder. He has long been unable to swim, we generally called him a cat in the bathtub. Growing up in Myrtle Beach, I was surprised to learn he couldn't swim. I taught him, he quickly caught on, but he always had a fear of deep water, and deep, murky open water seemed to scare the living daylights out of him. I truly doubted he would ever compete in an open water triathlon. Much to my amazement, he signed up for the Sprint, and later his first 70.3 in September of this year. We trained, albeit difficult for him with a new job, and some other responsibilities. Race day came and we went to warm up, and he FROZE in the water! I could see the fear of death in his eyes. I truly thought he would pull out.
Well, he didn't. We got up to the line and airhorn fires. He slowly walked into the water, I could still see the fear. He began to swim......then STOPPED. I didn't think he would continue. He called over a paddle boarder and asked to hold on. I had some choice tough love words for him and told him that I had to pull him off the swim. He fought me, started swimming and never stopped. He swam the last 500 meters faster than the first 250. Out of the water he comes, swimming from ear to ear, and I ran over to hug him. I was so proud of him, he overcame his fear, never gave up, and whether he knows it or not set an example for our athletes that were there to watch! I say all this because it shows the tenacity that people have when they want to overcome something and succeed at something they often doubt themselves. Quitting should never be an option, give it all you got and I promise you the effort will be worth the reward. So let this be a lesson to you, you CAN DO IT. Don't let anything stop you from accomplishing what it is you want to accomplish. Whether it is to lose 20 pounds or 160 pounds, to run a 5K or finish an Ironman. You can do it.