“’Children, it was the most single, wonderful outpouring of generosity that this school has ever seen. More cans of food feeding a hundred and ninety-three families came to this school than ever before. We only have one problem and we’re gonna deal with it this coming week. We’re gonna cancel our regular classes and what we’re gonna talk about is: what are those people gonna eat next week?” (Harry Chapin)
Far too often, Veterans get forgotten. Sure, you think about them on the major Military holidays. But what about the rest of the year? The above quote came to mind when I started writing this blog, and I think it’s pretty apt.
Having formed connections with Team RWB, I was excited to turn a one-day race (Leon’s) into a two-day weekend. There were reporters and camera crews throughout, and their stories will do much better justice than I can. Let’s leave it at – these people were amazing to sacrifice their lives on the battlefield and they continue to amaze even after being wounded.
While volunteering for the second day of the camp, I got a chance to talk with several of the veterans and learn from them. I also had a chance to help them during the day with things such as fireman carries out of the water. An incredible day, which ended with the race crew raising the gigantic American flag and taps being played.
Help is a two way street though, and during breaks at camp, I got some help myself. Some came from a teammate helping us with better bike starts; other came from a vendor coming up with a better swim tether. Both helped on race day, and will continue to help going forward.
While Leon’s Triathlon is a great course, that’s not the only reason I love doing it. Leon himself is always out there doing EVERYTHING to make sure that not only do things go smoothly according to USAT rules, but that it’s an amazing experience. I STRONGLY recommend that you pencil it in on your 2018 calendar NOW. Figure first Sunday of June 2018 and then wait for an official announcement in early Feb 2018 for the actual date.
Going into this race, I felt more confident than I did ending Leaning Tower. With the new swim tether, I had gotten back full arm extension on whichever side the guide is on. And with the bike starts and going to clips, I had gotten more power/speed than with flat pedals/’skateboard’ start. Now if only the run would be okay…
Long story short – the swim was great, the bike was great and the transitions went better than before. But the run is still my Achilles heel. While my back was tight during the run, at least it was a little better than the last race. I still had to do a fair amount of walking / stopping to stretch it out on a tree/pole. Even though the run was a mess, there was no way I was walking it in. Even though my body was killing me, seeing the finish line gave me that extra push I needed and I made it through.
Even though it wasn’t the end result I wanted, I made strides forward on several pieces. I’m confident that when I can get everything straightened out with the run that I’ll be a lot more satisfied. Until then, it’s just continuing to push forward and not letting the frustrations derail anything.