Saturday, May 19, 2012

So Proud!!!

We did it!!! We completed our first Sprint Triathalon as a team! And although my part was admittedly not difficult, it is most definitely my husband's hard work and dedication that came alive today! I could. not. be. prouder!  

He's worked so hard to come through so much. Nothing has been easy and yet today he competed as an athlete again for the first time in over two years! In 2011 Matt made a goal to be able to run again by the end of the year.  Although he never loved running, not being able to do it makes it somehow seem much more desirable.  I remember very clearly he came home one night last spring and told me he thought he could run down our hall and wanted to show me (mind you our hall is about 20-30 feet long?!?!).  We laughed together at his gait, but still celebrated this small accomplishment.  By the end of the year he was slightly discouraged.  He had tried a couple of times to run a small block (or part of it) with Winston and it left him pretty banged up for a quite a while afterward (and tripping a lot).  His artificial foot orthopedic (AFO), or "leg" as I like to call it, has helped a ton with his ability to be on his feet for longer periods of time, and it should allow him to do more small hikes, etc., but not enough for runs of any length.  

So, at the end of the summer Matt spent Christmas and birthday money he'd saved to have a friend build him a custom road bike.  Unfortunately he wasn't able to use it a ton during the winter, but the sun has started to peak out and with it have come the spandex! Eight mile rides turned into ten miles and ten into twelve.  Within the last few weeks he's ridden over twenty miles in one ride (with big hills included)! In addition, Matt's worked hard at getting up two to three times a week and heading down to the pool at 6 to swim before the workday begins.  Today, he swam 500 meters (actually 550 cause the lady counted wrong - I witnessed this), and rode his bike another 14 miles in almost under an hour! When I finished the 3.1 mile run (which was also longer, but that's a whole 'nother story ;), he looked at me and said, "I think I can do that part next year too!"  

I have tears coming down my face thinking about how far he has come! So many times it would have been easier to just take it easy when he hurt or call it a day, but instead he persevered.  Every time I went for a run and thought I was going to die I'd just remember how much harder training has been for Matt, or I'd remind myself to be thankful I can run.  

I remember comments the doctors made a few weeks after surgery such as, "You might want to see a counselor, things are going to be a lot different from now on," and "Something like this is hard for someone in your field {p.e. teacher} to have to go through."  It didn't really make sense.  I suppose what they were really trying to say was you're never going to be able to run again, or good luck going a whole day without your leg hurting, or we don't ever expect your leg to function the same way it used to, without putting it so bluntly. I guess sugar coating isn't always a bad thing...

On that note, I can't wait to send a card with pictures to Matt's doctors. I remember Matt telling one of his surgeons, "I was so scared I would be like that forever that I just had to keep going cause I didn't want to think about the possibility of that being my life." His doctor said he did the right thing, but that most people don't push through cause of the pain and fear of hurting themselves more.  Being lethargic would have been his worst enemy (and still can be). He's worked SO hard, SO hard and I couldn't be prouder! It was so fun to stand next to him today and watch him beam with pride after a huge accomplishment! God is good and we have SO much to be thankful for!!!

We competed with our friends Sam and Shannon (who are like pros at this)!  Apparently Shannon was trying to take a nap on Sam's shoulder. ;)

I had to add this picture because this was a classic "transition" scene! =)

Apparently we didn't get the leg memo or Shan was just really proud of her age in this picture! =)

And my favorite party?!?!  Every participant had their age on their right calf.  I started playing a fun game straight away - check the person out and guess their age, then verify on the leg.  Wow! Spandex do numbers (literally) to someone's age!

Some things I learned today:
* Pretty much anyone can compete in a sprint tri - clearly mind over matter. (Well, maybe except for not drowning in the deep end...)
* Not everyone looks their age...or even 10 years close to it.
* Spandex usually aren't the most becoming on people over 40... or anyone for that matter
* My husband is my hero. Again.
* Running without my ipod SUCKS! Booo to that being against race rules!

And because a blog entry wouldn't be a blog entry without our cute kids being showcased:

Our sweet baby boy cheering us on! 

Madelyn snuggling her Nana. 

Oh, also, we just happened to finish 3rd in our division (co-ed teams).  Granted, it was only out of 9 teams, but still... 

Stay tuned for news on the next sprint tri, and until then, go try on a pair of spandex! ;)


  1. Aww great post, Jules. That made me sad for a minute then super pumped. Proud of you Matt. The only thing I'm not proud of are his spandex...

  2. Amazing! Love this, congrats to your hubby!

  3. go Matt go! i loved reading this. My Matt lost sight in his right eye right after we got married, he is bow hunting again this year, after teaching himself to shoot lefthanded. I love a triumphant spirit!