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10 Day Dedication: My Dad

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With 100 days left until Ironman Coeur d’Alene,
I am dedicating each ten day block of training to important people in my life.

The next ten days of my Ironman training are dedicated to my Dad.

* * *

The funny thing about my Dad… [well, wait, there are many funny things about Dad]… but the main funny thing is that he’s a tornado.

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A tornado? Yes.  He can blow through a project and before you know what happened—it’s complete—he does everything fast and furiously, and with more accuracy than you can shake a stick at.

For example, when I was young, I would randomly say something like, “Someday, I would really like to get a shelf with pegs to hang my weightlifting medals on.”

I would go in my room, pick up up a book and read for thirty minutes, and suddenly—there was Dad—standing in my doorway, holding a shelf with pegs. A shelf that he had just built. In thirty minutes.

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Or, I would say, “I think I want to try out for the basketball team.”

Zooooooom!  There went the tornado. One trip to Wal-mart and a bucket of concrete later…I was watching a new VHS on how to play basketball and peering out the kitchen window at the basketball goal…the concrete couldn’t set fast enough.

“I think I want to try out for volleyball…”
“…softball…”
“…learn to dive off a diving board…”
“…catch a fish…”
“…play the trumpet… the saxophone… the guitar…”
“…Olympic weightlifting…”
“…become a photographer…”

Zoom!  There he went, and I became a girl who could wear a whole bunch of different hats (er, visors…)

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Sound completely spoiled?  Well, I wasn’t.  [Okay, that’s a lie.  I was completely spoiled stinking rotten, as we say in the South.]

And I was a Daddy’s girl to the max.  Duh.

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But here’s the thing about my Dad.  He spoiled me less with things… and more with things that mattered. He spoiled me with life lessons and opportunities. If I wanted to take on a new experience — he was right there. “Where do we sign up? What do you need?” The tornado would zoom through the area… and I was learning how to serve a volleyball before dinnertime.

Dad gave me the opportunity in life to become who I wanted to be.

The gift of opportunity is priceless.

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And I thoroughly believe that Dad’s reaction to my interests is what shaped me into the completely delusional adult that I am today.  Heh heh.  I mean, I woke up one day in 2010 and decided: I think I will try triathlon… and look what has happened?  If I had been living at home and said, “I think I will try triathlon,” Dad would have said, “Well, we’re gonna need to get a bike…and you’ll need shoes…and…and…”

Now, instead of Dad getting this stuff for me… I just go after it myself.

Much in the same way he went after his dreams.

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He gave me the foundation for dreaming big and going after what I want.  If he had ever said, “I don’t think you can do that,” then I have no idea what would have happened to me, to my dreams…

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Even as an adult, I have him right here, cheering me on….encouraging all my crazy, big ideas.

And he’ll be at Coeur d’Alene too. And I can’t wait to cross the finish line and give my Tornado Dad a disgustingly sweaty hug…because Ironman and triathlon is not just about the individual… it takes a village to make these kinds of dreams come true. And I am so thankful I have Dad on my team.

I am one lucky girl.

Dad,

Over the next ten days, I will carry you in my heart during: 
8 miles (13,200 meters) of swimming
210 miles of biking
and
36 miles of running.

Thanks for giving me the opportunity to believe that I can do this race.
I love you.   

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