Friday, September 14, 2007


It felt like homecoming. Although it was my first time in Madison the feeling of reunion was everywhere. Athletes arrived at the Monona Terrace like pilgrims to a shrine. It was Ironman, after all, and there was no other place they would rather be... and, worthy or not, I was one also.

The Who's Who of raceAthlete, the triathlon podfathers, influential bloggers, and members of the ZenTri Army and TriBlogging Alliance assembled near the arches unmistakably Ironman. Putting faces to names, and names to blogs put a feeling of family in Madison. The athletes, the families, the friends, the sherpas, and the spectators wove together into an extraordinary mosaic. These initial meetings can never be matched and reuniting with the Wildflower Task Force confirmed that I arrived ... and belonged.

The pieces were assembling nicely, each finding its comfortable place, but the work was not complete. The keystone was yet set with the mortar of the heart. Despite surfacing in the center of the triathlon universe my world was incomplete until the advent of my inspiration. It wasn't until I bathed in the bright light of the arrival was I at peace with the union. Then, and only then, did I go from arrive to thrive.
With checklist in hand and equipment in place did race eve find me in a good place. A comfortable place. An inspired place. Sleep came easily as did the first call. It was race-day and it too was ready for me.

Monona Terrace glowed in the early morning darkness. The sky was clear and pure. I mean distilled water clear. The waxing quarter moon, along with a glowing Venus and Mars anchored the heavens announcing the calm morning above the lake. Loudspeakers thumped booty shaking beats but they were not loud enough to drown the thumping in my own chest. This wasn't the place to be subdued... not when the adrenaline is coursing.
The water felt good on my feet and invited me to dive in... not wade... but dive in and stretch out across the lake surface. It wouldn't be long now. With a kiss and a high five I left the comfort of my inspiration to face the Ironman and all she had to throw in front of me. There's a lot of mileage, and time, and events between me and her finishing line. Ironman a clutching and jealous diva. She doesn't give up her finishing medals easily and serves nothing but challenges.

Her first offering; 2.4 miles of water.

Stay tuned...

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