People come in all shapes and sizes. By that, I do not just mean physical stature. I also mean their personalities, devotion, and all of the things that make them who they are. Yesterday I had the honor of watching as “The Ninja” competed in her first Ironman Triatholon. I cannot even begin to explain how proud I am of her and how happy I am for her!
Let me just tell you first what kind of a person she is. This is someone who sacrifices her own time on a regular basis to be there for me and my children whenever we need her. She has repaired “Pook’s” bed (among other things) which meant dropping everything she was doing to get her and fix it before I got home from wherever she was. She has sat with us at the hospital when babies were arriving and when kids needed stitches. She is always available to advise the kids and hear their secrets with the understanding that she won’t tell – unless I ask, then she won’t lie for them. I cannot even begin to tell you how many times she has been there to help me, hear me, advise me and walk/jog with me over more than one finish line. She is the one who is not afraid to tell me if I am wrong. That takes guts!
This weekend was her time! She has worked and trained for around a year for this event. It has meant a huge commitment in time for her, but this time for herself. She has gotten up at ungodly hours to train in all kinds of weather for hours and hours! She has totally worked on her diet, lost an incredible amount of weight and actually eats healthy! WEIRD!!!!
I have spent months listening and watching. There have been plenty of people in her life who didn’t believe in her. I dare say, there were probably some who hoped she failed. Sad, but true. I have watched the physical transformation take place. I have watched her slowly improve, get discouraged and get back up and continue working. Her perseverance has been nothing short of inspirational to all of us. Although she will hate me for saying this, I watched her tear up when “The Surprise” told her how proud he was of her even before she had the chance to prove what she could do. Some of us have backed her silently, others more vocal, all of us with tremendous love and respect.
So Ninja – this is your time (as the Goonies say). This lady completed her transformation yesterday in a big way. She left the starting block as one person, ready to try. I was privileged to jog beside her for the last few hundred feet before she entered the gate. Her goal was to finish in under eight hours. Technically, she would have done it but she stopped on the way to the finish line to kiss my grandson. Even in her moment, the love poured out from her. And believe me, it is pouring back to her from us. The transformation was complete at the finish line. I watched a happy, optimistic and confident woman wear that medal proudly. It has been a long time coming and is well deserved. I love you Ninja. You have inspired our whole family in ways that you may never fully understand! I always knew you had it in you!!!!!
Wife, Mother, Mother, Mother, Mother, Mother, Mother, Mother, Nurse, Grandmother, Friend...that's me in a nutshell!