I wanted to feel like I was welcome and belonged with this rare group of athletes.
The race is the focal point of what is Wildflower but the real jewel of the race is in the people. An extraordinary fortune is not on the race course but is found in the camaraderie.
I had so many conversations with my mates in the camp and so many greetings from visiting bloggers it's hard to recount them all. However, these are a few that will last within me:
While sitting in the stands beside Bolder watching athletes finish he turned to me and said, "This is what makes the sport worthwhile. Just sitting here with your buddies soaking it all up." I patted him on the back and said, "You're right. It's a cool group of people. You're on a great team."
... and, it felt good to be a part of his sport.
The hard packed trail hugged the ridgeline high above the lake and showcased the water below. As we walked JetPack and I spoke about the race and our camp mates. I told him that when asked why I want to be a part of the TriBlogger Alliance I direct them to his website and his story. I'll say, "Check out this guy. After reading about him who wouldn't want to associate themselves someone like this?" We nodded our heads in agreement and continued down the trail.
... and, it felt good to be a part of his camp.
As any long-time reader of my blog will tell you, there are many well written triathlon blogs in the Alliance... and mine, well, not so much. I admire those bloggers who can express themselves well with their words and I try to do the same. So, whenever I get a compliment from a reader it feels very good.
The night before the long course race Michael of NeopreneWedgie.com introduced himself to me. As a reader of his blog, and after hearing so many good things about him from the Get Your Geek On podcast, it was a pleasure to meet him. He told me that he's a reader of my blog and had very kind words to say. He said, "Your posts about the Boston Marathon are very well written and inspiring. If you decide to make a book from your blog you MUST include them." Wow! I mean WOW!
... and, it felt good to be a part of his blogging alliance.
The night after the race I was lamenting to Brett from Zen and the Art of Triathlon podcast about my bike equipment trouble and slow run. I shrugged my shoulders in surrender about the reasons why my legs were toasted on the race. He said, "Dude, two weeks ago you ran the Boston Marathon and rode the MS 150 in one day. Those are two of the biggest events in North America and you did them both. Then, today, you finished the toughest half-Ironman there is. No wonder you're spent. You accomplished a lot."
... and, it felt good to call him a friend.
While sitting around the campfire Roman Mica pulled up a chair next to me. We spoke about how good it was to see all of Team raceAthlete together in one place and how much I've enjoyed following the athletes and their training through their blogs and podcasts. He excused himself for a couple of minutes. When he returned he handed me a Team raceAthlete race jersey, still in the plastic bag, and said, "Welcome to the team, Brian," and shook my hand.
... and, it felt good to belong.