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10 Day Dedication: James

Only 20 days until Ironman Coeur d’Alene… (heart attack). And as you know, I am dedicating each ten day block of training to important  people in my life. I have written dedications to my Dad, my Mom, Coach Monster, Grandparents, YOU, my SBM friends, Yoda, Sweet Red and Mountain Goat, Dr. MMH, Ilana Katz and McBlessings, and my girl, Stella.

After this one, there is only ONE dedication left… I bet you can guess who it is…

But THIS dedication is for my firstborn son, James.  My little dude.


Dear James,

You are a child after my own heart.  You are stubborn and emotional and you have earned your nickname, Captain Careful, outright.

Your sister is like your daddy—free spirited, daring and excitable.  You and me… well, we are like a pair of 95 year-old men, sitting on a park bench, complaining that the weather is too hot.  We’re a couple of old grouches.  And we make a great grouch team.


Like you, I was always a cautious kid. I wanted to stick my nose in a book/computer and be left alone.

But the thing about us—-is we need people like your daddy and your sister to make us see what we are capable of.  To bring out the excitement. And sometimes I watch Stella pull you out of your shell and together, the two of you, have so much fun and Captain Careful becomes Captain Courageous. 

You become brave… actually, you find your brave inside—and then you fly.


(And man… are you FUNNY.)

I dedicate, not just the next 10 days of training to you—-because this whole race is one big scary brave event.  And me, a fellow Captain Careful… I am sometimes terrified.  Doing what scares me… however… is exactly what I have to do.

There will come a time in your life when you may be on the edge of something daring and great and scary.  And I want you to be able to look back on this race and see that taking the leap of faith, the hard path, the daring path… was the only way for me go.


Be careful with your soul—but step out into the wide open space—and take a leap with your actions. Because in doing things that scare us, we prove to ourselves that we are brave.  That we can conquer anything.

Through this Ironman FINISH (!),  I want you to see that you can be strong and brave and fierce and courageous.  You can be all these things if you want to be.  No matter what your internal Captain says. You can.


And just like I dedicated to your sister, I am saying the same to you:  I am going to finish this race, so someday, when you doubt yourself, or when others make you feel like crap… I can tell you the story of how your fat, lazy, good-for-nothin’ momma did something really awesome. That one night (and it will be night), back in June of 2013, I did something really impossible and amazing and hard.
Swim start. :)

And when I tell you… and you look at me, like, “What? YOU did THAT?”

I can nod and say, “See?  You can be whatever you dream.  I am proof.”

And then I can tell you… that just because you may not look the part …or be perfect at playing the part… you can still participate in the play of life. You can move forward. With courage. And you can be who you want.


Over the next ten days of training, I will carry your sweet little smile in my heart.  And on the race course, when I think it hurts too much—I am going to remember the story that I want to someday tell you. And in order to tell you the story, I have to finish.  And to get to the finish, I must just keep moving forward.


And I will. For you, my baby boy.



  • Caroline Eldridge

    June 3, 2013 at 6:25 am

    This is really lovely Meredith. As a mom of 2 boys (my 6 year old is also a Captain Careful type!) I think what you’re teaching your kids is fantastic, no better way than leading by example. Some days that’s the only thing that will get me off my bum and out on the bike. The very best of luck in Coeur d’Alene; I’ll be cheering for you here in Ireland!

  • Mom

    June 3, 2013 at 7:10 am

    Oh, honey.
    Beautifully and honestly written!!
    I just can’t take many more of these 10-day dedications.
    I love you and can’t wait until Coeur d’ Alene. :*)

  • Kim Possible

    June 3, 2013 at 7:49 am

    I officially used a full box of tissue to read through your beautiful dedications.Thank You!. I let too many years of my life flash by being cautious, fearful of failing. Now, I look at failing as not giving things a try. It’s fun to watch the first few runners cross the finish line, but I will cry like a baby when I see the last few pass, knowing how difficult the journey was.

  • Becky

    June 3, 2013 at 10:32 am

    You are truly gifted with words. Following your journey and rooting for you all the way! Your race is officially on my calendar, so that I may check your status on race day and update my swim/bike/run cheering phrases!

  • C caslow

    June 3, 2013 at 12:21 pm

    My first ironman was CDA in 2010. I am now on #3. CDA was amazing. I did not think I would finish the bike but I did. I had 40 min to spare. The journey was amazing. I learn so much about me. But I also learned that my two kids, young as they were, were proud of me. They knew it was a big deal. Good luck. Looking to follow you on race day.

  • April Judd

    June 4, 2013 at 6:57 pm

    Hi Meredith. I just started following your blog last night. I am in love with your journey already. I am starting my 5th month of training for a half marathon in September. I started at 238lbs and having never been a runner. I ran my first 5K and will run a 10K this Saturday. Next 1/2 training. I find so many thoughts and worries and fears pass through my head that you put to such wonderful words in your blog. It makes me feel like I’m not alone in this crazy obsessed world of running I have entered (and love!). This dedication to your son is so touching, but I feel it talks to that little kid in all of us, and it definitely spoke to me. I wish you all the best in your upcoming race. You will do it, because the Captain Courageous in you accepts nothing less. I am so impressed by you for making this exceptional journey. Thank you for sharing so that others may find strength in their own journey as well.

  • Jan Hannaford

    June 5, 2013 at 12:40 pm

    I have read your book and followed your blog for the last 6 months. I just wanted to tell you what a very special person you are. Your love for your family and friends will definitely see you finish your ironman. I love the way you tell it as it is tricky bits, good bits and wobbly bits. As a 58 year old, doing my first Olympic distance in 4 weeks, I can empathise with your troubles and anxieties but your blog to your son really is special and he will be so proud to have such an amazing mum

  • Cindy S

    June 5, 2013 at 12:58 pm

    Your writing is beautiful. I’m crying on my keyboard. I have two amazing little boys (almost 4 and 1) and when I came home from my 62 mile bike ride on Sunday, my oldest asked me, “Mommy, but did you swim and run, too?” He’s got it down! We are all doing amazing things for our kids, who are watching our every move, as you know. You are killing it out there and I can’t wait to follow your journey in 17 days as you tour CDA for your first IM FINISH!! Go get ’em!!!

  • Mo

    June 10, 2013 at 8:55 am

    Andy Potts said something really awesome to me this weekend when we were talking about kids and training. He said even if we don’t tell our kids about our races or our training, when they see the smile on our faces, they just know that it makes us (mommy, daddy, etc) happy. They will take that with them forever. They might not know the distance or the race or the sport, but they will remember the happiness and the smile! I couldn’t agree with him more. We can only tell them and teach them so much, but our actions will always speak louder than our words! Keep it up Mere! You can do and you can do it with a smile so wide your kids will never forget it!

  • Amy Wojaczyk

    June 13, 2013 at 1:02 pm

    Seriously…I’m catching up on blog posts while sitting gettin my pedicure and I have to put this down and return later. Tera are streaming down my face and I will return later. You. Are. Awesome.


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