|Harvest Classic, c. 1992|
|Christmas run, 2009|
|Beijing Marathon, 2009|
Since then, I have been very content to leave the running to my husband and family and put my efforts into the part of sport I enjoy: spectating.
This summer, I had the opportunity to ultra-spectate at Bighorn, and then for the first time I got to Iron-spectate for my dad at Coeur d'Alene Ironman.
It was not dad's first Ironman, but I had previously only spectated at one of his sprint triathlons, and this was a completely different animal. Honestly, the sprint tri seemed almost pathetic when compared with the vast scale and difficulty of Ironman (I say this knowing that I myself could not complete a sprint tri). It was overwhelming just to be there, let alone compete.
As it turns out, we almost weren't there. Dad had been in 'let's wait and see' mode for more than six months and had only just made the decision. On Tuesday he was ready to scrap the whole thing and take the loss. On Wednesday he went to chemo and came away feeling great. On Friday morning we were driving to Coeur d'Alene.
There are so many stories at an Ironman--stories of extreme weight loss, triumph, perseverance--my dad himself has a story. It's impossible not to feel inspired by these everyday people who show up to take on the infamous swim, bike, run. But it comes down to this: Are you tough enough? Can you dig deep enough? Are you an Ironman? My dad is a grumpy, stubborn old dude who didn't want to waste his money and who wanted a finisher shirt, but evidently he was also tough enough, and he finished that race like the Ironman that he is. With twenty minutes to spare.
|One lap down, one to go|
|Nose to the grindstone|
|Around mile 70|
|Only 13 more miles!|
'From Nampa, Idaho, 67 years old, Dwight Schuh, you are an Ironman!'
Shortly after Ironman, dad's middle brother and family came to visit. I hadn't seen them in years, so it was great that I happened to be around. We celebrated several birthdays and the 4th of July.
|Dad and his brother. 'Why didn't you tell|
me to smooth out my shirt?' Dad said.
|My Aunt's awesome apple pie|
|It's not summer in the US without the Corvair|