As a child I spent countless hours being swept off to football games, softball games, basketball practice – you name it. But, it wasn’t for me. No, it was for my brother and sister. They were the athletes – the real athletes with letterman jackets, college scholarships, traveling teams, all-state recognition, and their name in the Saturday morning paper. They were athletic, determined, bright and focused. They were my first role models, my first insight into fighting for your goals and never giving up. I really looked up to them, and still do!
I remember my sister getting hit in the eye with a line drive – black eye to beat the bandit! But, she was out there the very next game… No complaints. And, I remember my brother literally throwing up on the way to a Friday night game. As the QB, he stepped up and killed it, of course!
They were my idols. Not because I was almost 10 years younger but because they represented who I wanted to be.
Well, I wasn’t an athlete in high school – like not at all! When my folks tell people “Julie ran the Chicago Marathon” they usually respond, “Don’t you mean Jenn?” Because it’s hard to believe this dancer/cheerleader is out running endurance races and chasing after an Ironman. Believe me, I get it!
But somewhere deep down I’m still chasing after Jenni and Jeff – of course much younger and a late bloomer to boot- but I want to feel the accomplishment, the glory – I want to make them proud. Endurance racing has given me that, the avenue to chase my dreams and feel like “I threw the winning touch down or caught the winning fly ball”
So to me, this Ironman represents much more than just crossing another finish line, it’s a lifelong goal to be among the best, the bravest and the strongest….at least in my world anyway.