Happy Thanksgiving! In this final installment of Thankful Thursday I would like to take the opportunity to thank my wonderful family. They have been my biggest fans and supporters through my entire athletic career. While they would have been just as happy if I put serious competition behind me at the end of my collegiate running career to focus 100% on my medical school studies, they have come to understand the importance of triathlon in my life and are proud of my success in both triathlon and medical school. It took quite a bit of convincing, but they are supportive of my decision to take a break from my medical training to pursue my dreams of being a professional triathlete.
I remember a phone conversation with my parents in the summer of 2012 between my first and second year of medical school, I had won my age group in my first two races and qualified for Age Group Nationals in Burlington, Vermont. The only problem was it was right before school was supposed to start. There was quite a debate of whether or not I should sign-up. It would be my first out-of-town race that would require overnight accommodations and a quite a bit of a drive. My mom was not so sure about it, there was no disguising the hesitancy in her voice. She then handed the phone to my dad, and I was expecting the same response. He said to me “You know what I think?” I prepared myself for his negative response and was surprised when he said “I think you should do it!” He offered to take me to the race and made the 7-plus hour drive to Vermont with me and was an All-Star Sherpa and cheerleader.
My parents and Tricia have spectated and upheld their Sherpa duties at several of my races. It is challenging and lonely to go to a race alone, and I greatly appreciate their dedication of getting up before the crack of dawn to come to my races; let’s be serious, triathlon is not the most spectator friendly sport. Mom and Tricia were my support crew at the 70.3 World Championships in Mt. Tremblant this past September. Even though things did not go as planned they were cheering me on the whole way as if I was winning and were just as proud as if I had won.
While most people go to Hawaii for vacation, my parents came for the Ironman, which is certainly no vacation. With all there was to do in preparation for race day, there was little time for them to enjoy the Big Island, but they were happy to be there to support me. They were my chauffeurs in the mini-van, mom was my personal chef, and both did what they could to help keep my stress levels as low as possible. I am so grateful to have had my mom and dad present at what arguably was the best race of my life. It meant so much to me for you to be there during that proud moment.
Mom, Dad, and Trish, I know you think I am little bit crazy for doing triathlons (while in medical school), but thank you for embracing my craziness and supporting me in my pursuit of my dreams. You are the most important part of my team. Without your support, it would not be possible.