Several years ago, my cell phone was ringing and as I glanced at the screen, I saw my son calling. He lived on the West Coast. West Coast calls are an amusing mix of adjusting to the time change and discrepant activities. It was mid-afternoon, mid-week. Normally not a usual time for a casual call from him…As soon as I answered I knew something was wrong as frightened sobs shuddered through the phone. Unable to decipher the chaotic speech I kept repeating, “I can’t understand you. What is wrong?” He was shouting, “I’ve had a stroke! I need my brain.”
In what seemed an eternity, the strong voice of his girlfriend came on the line and explained he was in the ER at Cedars- Sinai Medical Center. Ultimately, he was diagnosed with a brain hemorrhage of unknown etiology, not common in someone in their mid-20s. After a period of treatment for severe headaches and many diagnostics, he went home. He returned to work and with the exception of the headaches seemed fine. Intermittently he has been able to upgrade the focus of his meds and seems good, back to working 14-hour days as a lawyer. I now am sure to see he and his family as much as able. I look at him and well up with unexpected emotions.
The reason I write this is because today is a gift, not one I really thought about seriously. This is really a story about an ironman and Ironman Races about which I knew nothing. I have learned about these races and the training and commitment it takes to development the endurance and strength in three sports.
Today he is competing in a half-Ironman, which consists of the following:
Swim – 1.2 miles/ 45-minute average
Bike – 56 miles/ 3-hour average
Run – 13.1 miles/ 2 hour & 15-minute average
I saw veterans with prosthetics. I saw the young and strong and lean. I saw the little bit overweight. I saw the old and fit.
My son finished in 6 hours and 40 minutes. The life story importance? He lived, he completed the event. To me…a miracle.