Well it’s no secret to anyone, I’m clumsy, I do dumb things, and often times just generally clueless. That’s led me down a path of a very interesting life. One filled with all the high’s one could want, but also some pretty damn low times. But I’ll tell you what, I adopted a new motto in life, “Life’s too short not to love everything about it.”
Over the past three years I’ve somehow managed to break or damage a large part of my body. But as one friend put it, you’re half made of metal, so you’re really only like 2 years old. Whereas the half made of metal is a little stretch, I got the point. I’d also like to add that I do a pretty sick robot now, my dance skills pretty much end at that.
I’ve also had a few people ask, how do you know your (insert broken body part) is healed? That is a good question, I never actually thought about that. The ear, well there’s audiograms to show my left ear still sucks, but the arm, back, hip, face, there is no real objective test for that. So, how does one know if they’re healed after breaking something?
I’m not sure I know the right answer, but my answer was this, because I was stupid enough to do another Ironman and finished without anything breaking or even hurting. And what better place to do one that in Brazil? Yeah, that’s the plan.
Obviously if there was anything still wrong with any of the various injuries, I would have broken them in the 3-4 month prior that I was able to start training. Don’t get me wrong, the training was painful, I started off from basically ground zero at the beginning of the year, barely running a mile (if you can call it running) and not able to sit on a bike due to the back being sore. But through this year, through the help of a good buddy of mine and his amazing massage/therapy (Paul Cocker Whiting), through just sometimes pushing through the pain (Dr’s said to expect that to start), and through some awesome friends to keep me motivated to do it (Chris, Fernando, and Laura), everything started falling into place. And on the evening of May 27, 2012 after I crossed that finish line, as I lay out on the grass overlooking the beach (kind of), I started welling up, overwhelmed by everything. It’s done, it was a long day, but it’s done. During and after the race I thought about some other close friends of mine, and what everyone’s gone through, Mo and her terrible bike accident, Tom and his battle with cancer (he won!), and the loss of one of my best friends Pete. My thoughts went out to each of them, and all the family and friends, but that also gave me strength. It made me realize how amazing my friends and family truly are, how we’re there for each other, and how we always will be. Without them I know I would be in a much different place than where I am now. Now I know I’m ok, now I know it’s time to move past. Now is the time to put the last couple of years behind, we’re starting with a clean slate.
What’s crazy is that, although by no means was this the fastest (I had zero expectations of time, just of finishing) but it was the easiest. Maybe it was because it’s been 3 years since I’ve done one, maybe it’s because I didn’t have any expectations, or maybe it’s because I just didn’t care about anything but crossing the finish line. I can honestly say, even in the best shape, I’ve never felt so great after the swim, never felt like the bike was easy, although with the heat that run sucked (and the major lack of run training.) But that didn’t matter, I just kept the legs moving even when they locked up, finally figured out how to ask for salt in Portuguese, and even though I pretty much walked miles 16-22, I did finally recover and got back to running those last few miles. Who cares though, I finished, it’s over, and I’m healed. During the race not once did I have any pain, the hip felt strong, the back never ached, the elbow stretched out fine on the swim, and the face, other than being a wee bit uglier, never affected me at all. Take away my quads completely seizing up from lack of salt and I’d say the race actually went pretty much perfect in my head. All I can say, thank god that’s over…
What’s next, not much, still a little healing to do in the face. Braces are forthcoming to straighten out the jaw, however it’s a constant negotiation with the orthodontist. It’s a back and forth dialog we have where she says she wants to “fracture” my jaw to make it easier/quicker to straighten things out. I cringe, say hell no, ask for plan B. Plan B, big metal braces, I say no, that aint going to cut it, plan C. OK, invisalign for a little while, then transition to ceramic braces towards the end. OK, now we’re sounding a little better.