October 14, 2005

Ironman Stalker

OK, OK, I said I wouldn’t bring this up again, but I lied. I mentioned before that completing an Ironman is my one, undying goal in life. I don’t think I really got the point across as much as I need to though. The whole point of my life right now is for me to finish Ironman USA. That’s what I’m writing about – the trials and tribulations, chuckles and tears, rashes and blisters of me getting to the starting line. You see, Ironman – both the race and the overarching concept of the race – is a controlling force in my life and has been for decades. Deep down inside, I have a greater drive to do Ironman than anything else.

Let me give you a bit of perspective. On my refrigerator I have a laminated picture of the Hawaii Ironman finish line. It’s been there on my fridge for 12 years. I look at it every single day. I have an Ironman credit card that I use to pay for just about everything. I wear my Ironman visor every time I run. I wear my Ironman socks every time I exercise. I wear Ironman superhero undies to sleep every night. Well, maybe not so much on the undies. But if they made them, I’d buy a pair. You starting to get the picture?

And now, I’m about to see the Hawaii Ironman World Championships for the first time. My dream was to compete in this race. In fact, it still is my dream. But I’m not yet fast enough to qualify and I haven’t weasled my way in through any other method, so I’ve decided to do Ironman USA instead – perhaps the toughest Ironman race in North America, the Hawaii World Championships aside.

Many people have told me how exhilarating it is to experience the Hawaii Ironman. How the experience alone – even as a spectator – will stick with you and inspire you.

But here we are in Hawaii on Friday night and it really doesn’t mean much to me. It’s been a long week at work, the plane ride was a disaster and I am so tired I think I can lay right down on the runway and go to sleep without really caring if the planes run over me. I mean, I’m happy to be in Hawaii and all, but I sure could use a good night sleep one of these years.