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The Chilling Truth

I came across this photo tonight.

This was taken in our bathroom.

There is writing on the mirror.

It says, “I love you. I know this is hard.  Stay focused….train hard….Meredith Atwood. You are an Ironman.”


It killed me.

This was the Expert.

And you know why this killed me???

**Because this photo was before my first OLYMPIC distance race.  In March. Of 2011. Two years ago.

The Expert had written this on a mirror in our house before he left on a business trip.

In that moment, he had scrolled the leap to say, “You are an Ironman.”  And I don’t know if he really even thought about it—-that deeply at the time—but I know he was trying to motivate me.

And I had, in that time, felt lost—-like I could not even do the race-the Oly race…. And he was there. Deciding to believe in me, even if it was a stretch.

I had laughed when I woke up and saw it. I had never even done an Oly.

An Ironman??

But I had secretly thought, “I hope so. Someday.”

And I took the picture of the mirror, thinking, maybe someday this picture will mean something awesome…


It’s funny. I had always given Monster the credit for Ironman.  For the idea of Ironman.  But now… I wonder. Was it the very Expert?

I love him. And I am grateful for him.  And we may have had our Ironman issues, but he supported me more than maybe I recognized.

And to come across this picture right now, in light of the chaos we are living, it was nice. Because it proves that no matter where we ARE, we can be somewhere else, in a very short period of time.

An Olympic distance? An Ironman? An air-conditioned house… it’s all possible.

I just hope to be in a house at some point.  But if not, I’ll just hang on to triathlon.

Because the Chilling Truth —-hear me out—- is that ANYTHING can happen and change. You can be ANYTHING. And anything you dream.

The Chilling Truth is that anything really is possible. Despite fantastic, stupid obstacles.  We can all do what we dream. It takes work. It takes focus. But it’s a truth.


Get your chills. 🙂


  • April Judd

    July 9, 2013 at 9:10 pm

    “Listening to your story, I’m a little verklempt myself. Give me a second. Talk amongst yourselves (holds it all in). There I feel better. ” Linda Richmon

    ^^^I have to do this on, like, EVERY post. 🙂

  • Cindy C

    July 9, 2013 at 9:38 pm

    This totally gave me the chills…. WoW! That’s powerful. 5 days and counting to my first Half IM and I cannot wait. I’ll be wearing your SBM Tri Kit with the mantra, Keep Moving Forward, and I will do just that until I am a 1/2 IM. You are a true inspiration to us all. Thank you.

  • Meryl

    July 9, 2013 at 10:18 pm

    I know you’ve probably heard it a million times, but since I’m a newbie and haven’t got to say it yet, you are so inspiring me to get out and kick some ass. Thanks!

  • Nina

    July 9, 2013 at 10:33 pm

    Love this post. I watched you cross the finish line in Coeur d’Alene. Good job, Ironman. I’m training for my 2nd Ironman, Ironman Florida, 2 Nov. This made me sit back, think and thank all the people that will support me through the finish line.

  • Lisa

    July 10, 2013 at 12:20 am

    WOW!!! Such a great post!!!
    Last year I did my first 3 sprints. I’ve done another so far this year and I’m now training for my first Oly in October and another in December (with a couple more sprints thrown in for good measure!!).
    My partner knows it’s my goal to be an Ironman and she had the audacity to tell me that I needed to do a half next year!!!…How dare she?…I’m not ready for that!!!….Or so I thought!! I’ve now made the commitment and I’m coming to Augusta next year to FINISH my first 70.3!!!
    Having someone in my corner that believes in me (and pushes me), even when I don’t believe in myself, makes ALL the difference!!
    Praises to The Expert for believing in you!!!

  • lkrupka

    July 10, 2013 at 3:58 am

    The same thing happened to me in school. On the first day of graduate school, we filled out a small piece of paper saying what we thought we would be doing at graduation and I SWEAR for the next 3 years I told myself that was not what I was going to do. Lo and behold, I did choose that route, and right before graduation we were given our sheets back. If it were not my handwriting I would not have believed it. Crazy. For now, I too am 11 days from my first 70.3. Zowwee.

  • Karrie Kunich

    July 10, 2013 at 4:50 pm

    I hope you find the climate control you are looking for. After buying eight of y our books as gifts and not making it past page 56 on my own, I was so delighted to see the audio version. I am just finishing that up and appreciating your journey even more. You are an Ironman in every sense of the word. Hold on to that and hold on to your family!

  • Michele @ Micheleontherun

    July 10, 2013 at 6:24 pm

    This post made me cry…. you inspire me. I think I cried because this is exactly where I am right now! No Olys….but with dreams of “someday” an ironman. What a great picture to have to remind you that you are in control of your destiny and can make life change- quickly.


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