This will be my last Ironman post, but I could not close that chapter of this book without dedicating a post to my Iron Husband (that's even been his name in my cell phone since he signed up for Texas last fall).
The Iron Hubs had done two Ironmen before we began dating (for the 1,000 time;) so this was not a new experience for him. I had sort of watched from afar with his first two as we were still good friends at the time, but I had not seen everything that goes into a goal of this caliber. I only saw the end result in the race photos (in which he looks incredibly handsome, if I may add). Once we volunteered together at Ironman Madison, I began to have a better understanding of just how much would go into his training should he ever choose to do another one.
I remember a few discussions in the days following Madison where we shared our thoughts on it probably being easier for our little family if we did not have a new born in our midst while he would be tied up most weekends with training. He agreed with the logic and we sort of left it at that as I did not want to pressure him into another one if he was not ready. Randomly over the next month or so, he'd mention it here and there and that he was "keeping an eye on the Texas registration page." Long story short, the Ironman bug had once again taken a big ole bite of the Hubs and he clicked on that "register" button for the third time and thus began his training.
Fast forward with me for a second to this past Friday. As I watched him load his bike into the transition area, I began chatting with a girl from Iowa. After a few minutes of casual banter, she blurted out "I don't know about you but I'm so ready for this to be over. I want my normal boyfriend back. I know this is emotional for them, but it's exhausting for us too and I'm tired of having a crazed boyfriend." I didn't want to make her feel bad so I just smiled and encouraged her that she just had one more day.
Why I share that story with you is part of the reason why last weekend was such a powerful and fun experience. I DIDN'T want it to be over at all because the Hubs NEVER once seemed crazed throughout the 7-8 month process. He remained normal. And what stands out the most to me is that he never once complained about the training, if he was exhausted or sore, etc... Sure there were times that got a little hairy like prepping for Easter at our house and he had to train for 7 hours the day before and couldn't help as much he would normally, but he made up for it by cleaning with me after he'd ridden his bike for said 7 hours (when I know he was exhausted and wanted to sit down) and even skipped out on his training the day of to help me cook. He was always very much present and the farthest thing from crazy. His attitude throughout made this whole experience a positive one.
So as we wrap this one up with a pretty, yet very manly Ironman bow (or medal), I wanted to give my Iron Husband a shout out.
Iron Hubs, I've always thought you were incredible even at 18 years old, but you continue to amaze me with your dedication to your career, our family and your goals. You are never content for too long unless you're doing something to better yourself or your family and I'm so thankful for that. You use everything the Lord has blessed you with and you are making the most of the life you've been given. You're stronger than I ever imagined and seeing you push through the bike and run this weekend was something I will never forget. Sure, seeing you cross the finish line itself will be engraved in my memory and can still bring a tear to my eye, but crossing that line isn't the hard part. The hard part is putting one foot in front of the other on mile 120 when your legs are dead and the sun is scorching and it'd be easier to stop than to continue. That's where I was the proudest wife in the Woodlands. You never once complained, even as I watched you lay trembling in the bed before you fell asleep that night from the pain. You've suffered through 2nd degree sunburns for the last 5 days and STILL have not complained. You're a champ, a stud, an inspiration, a winner, a non-crazed and loving husband, son and brother through it all, and you're an Ironman. I'm so glad to call you mine last Saturday, today and everyday. Keep chasing your dreams. I'll be a few feet behind you every single time (and right next to you if it doesn't involve running, biking or swimming;). I can't wait to tell Ziggy all about the time he went with me to Texas to watch his dad lay it all out there on the pavement. I love you and am proud of you.
PS...Remember when we were 18 and talking about our dreams and you said you wanted to write a book and possibly be the President of the United States? I think I make a better Ironwife than a First Lady, but if the presidential bug ever takes a big ole bite out of you, well, I guess I'll be up for that too;) Just give me enough warning to take down any ridiculous Facebook photos of me drinking queso through a straw first.