Monday, September 22, 2014

Gratitude of Ironman Proportions

As we approach the tail end of our Ironman Chattanooga training phase, it becomes apparent to us that the Finish Line is truly within our reach.

With this in mind, I'd like to take just a brief moment to express my gratitude to those folks that have been instrumental in allowing me to prepare, physically and mentally, during this journey.

I do this with the risk that I will forget someone, but if I do, I don't do it intentionally. These are the folks that come to mind; those that have walked with me every step of the way. So here's to you:

To my tri team X3 Endurance. You folks have meant the world to me. Your positive attitude and encouragement during all those long training weekends were uplifting to say the least. Thank your Phifer and Eddie for opening your doors to me and to others and allowing us to benefit from your vast pool of resources.

To my Coach, mentor and friend Barry Baird. If anyone, anywhere were to look at your client list, they would find an arm's length of who's who in the tri world; athletes so inspiring and talented, that you would immediately wonder why my name is on that list. You did not limit yourself to providing me with a training plan, but you truly provided guidance along the way. I am proud and will always be proud to call myself an eGeek.

To my friends Rodney Bice, Mike and Carry Haapala, Bob and Joana Riddick. You folks never wagered in your desire to help whenever a call was made. From kayak and dock support during those early Wednesday morning Open Water Swims, to answering the phone when I came up with crazy training ideas and I was looking for help. You unselfishly relinquished your time for us, and I will be forever grateful to you for this.

To my daughter Juliana Sanchez. This journey became more purposeful when you decided that we should do this thing together. I never doubted for even a moment that you were up to the challenge. My concern was, if I may confess, that you would have some trouble arranging your training times. Holding a full time job and being the most awesome single mom I know, I thought would present opportunities for you, but when they did, you handled these with the poise and calm of someone twice your age. You have made me more proud, if that could be possible, than I have ever been. I am proud to be your "daddy". I am proud to race this race with you. I am proud that we are #TeamSanchez. I love you bunches.

To my daughter Marcela Sanchez. Even though you're miles away from me during this process, you have found the way to support; constantly keeping in touch and asking question, planning race day logistics with mother to ensure that everyone has a pleasant experience. Your weekend visits helped to refuel this tired engine and these came just when the doctor ordered them. I can't wait to cross the finish line and you be the first one I give a big hug and kiss to. Love you lots.

To our friend Lindsay Galloway. You are the "andFriends" of #TeamSanchezAndFriends". It has been an honor to train by your side. I remember our very first bike ride together, you have come a long, long way. Your determination to finish this is contagious and encouraging. You battled through some obstacles of your own and you didn't allow these to derail you. You have been a great friend and I have proudly enjoyed our training time together.

And last but definitely not least to my wife Monica Sanchez. Oh my goodness, I don't even know where to begin. When someone speaks of an Ironman widow they must have you in mind. You have spent countless hours alone, but you have never complained. You have stood by my side, no matter what the plan called for. Who else but you would find it fun and okay to give up your weekend and travel to Chattanooga to volunteer your time to support our bike and run course training. Your input and advise has always been timely and needed. You are the rock that holds us together. I love you more than I can express.

As I add miles and minutes to my race in Chattanooga, I will have each and everyone of you in my mind. I will know and understand, that each step along the way is possible only because of each and everyone of you. From the bottom of my heart... THANK YOU... and I'll see you at the Finish Line!

Please come over and "like" my facebook page for more Motivation and Inspiration on my "Journey Beyond Ironman".  Click here.

Also, join our new facebook group: Tri Talk a place where you can ask questions, look for advice, find motivation, etc. All things Tri from Sprint distance to Iron Distance.  Click here to go to page.