Thursday, April 12, 2012

Why Do The Ironman? Part 5

I first heard of Sister Madonna Budder through Phil Keoghan’s (host of ‘The Amazing Race’) book ‘No Opportunity Wasted’. Sister Budder is the 80-year-old nun who has completed many Ironman triathlons including the Hawaii Ironman World Championships in Kona. I thought: if she could do it at her age, I could do it! However, I could not even comprehend how much preparation and training was involved in completing the 226K multi-discipline event. Years later, I met this fit and inspiring competitor at the Ironman 70.3 World Championships in Clearwater, Florida in 2008 and 2009. I had to do my best, and I did do my best with her racing side-by-side. I was absolutely stoked being with her in the race that I, earlier, earned a qualification for.

Integrated within every Ironman World Championship DVD are powerfully inspiring stories about competitors who survived near-death ordeals, physical challenges, or are near-death. Jon ‘Blazeman’ Blais defied impending death and a crippling medical condition to complete his personal quest one year; and watch the event from his wheelchair in the next. We celebrate his memory by rolling on our belles, across the finishing-line. 4-time Ironman world champion Chrissie Wellington did the ‘Blazeman Roll’ in almost every one of her wins (symbolic of her fight against ALS disease), and stayed on after her victory to cheer on the remainder of the field.
Chrissie's biography which chronicles her meteoric rise from a woman with control issues to world-class champion athlete.
The father-and-son team, ‘The Hoyts’ is a synergistic collaboration that fulfills the human hunger to achieve and accomplish. Father tows and pushes his son through a complete Ironman for his son feels so much alive to be part of a race that saw its humble beginnings in 1978. One is smitten by their love and mutual respect for each other, braving the elements and challenging the odds to complete the race.

These amazing and inspiring people in Ironman help bring out the best in us. It is through their thoughts, words and deeds that we feel what we feel, and are humanized in the process. Ironman is more than a demanding personal physical challenge. It is a celebration of the human spirit that defies unthinkable odds, to emerge victorious and celebrating.

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