So today was a pretty emotional day for me… In racing the Ironman Timberman 70.3 today, I returned to my IM roots as Timberman was my first half IM back in 2012. When I raced back in 2012, my sister Heidi Frost Emmons was fighting for her life in a battle with cancer that she would lose a week after the race. :(
She is and always has been the driving force behind my racing and is always with me on every swim, bike and run I do.
In addition to having many memories of my 2012 race (only my 2nd ever 1/2 marathon and my first 1.2 mile swim - Yes - I was petrified I would never make it out of thee water), I was also racing today wearing bib #179. The bib Jon Blaise wore when he raced Ironman Kona in 2004 while battling the deadly disease ALS. He would return to Kona a year later, confined to a wheelchair due to the deadly disease, and would pass away shortly afterwards. His life and spirit continue to inspire. I am very thankful that I crossed paths with Jon's parents in the spring (Mary Ann Blais and Robert Blais). When Mary Ann slipped a "War on ALS" bracelet on me, I was truly humbled and very happy to join the Blazeman team.
Jon was famous for rolling across the finish line in Kona, so when I crossed the finish today, I rolled across. When Andy Potts saw me do this, he came over and gave me a hug, put a medal around my neck and said "thank you" for completing a Blazeman roll.
When one of the absolute best in your sport seeks you out to say “thanks”, it truly is a special day.
I did not have the run I had hoped for today as the heat really kicked my butt, but I am very happy that I raced Timberman again and am truly honored to have been selected to wear Bib #179.
Update on my crash/injury: Class 4 seperation of my shoulder, it will be surgically repaired at Tulane on 9/5 ! Already anxious to start training again...m goal will be reached/no white flags...Using a friends quote "Never give up..Find a way to make it happen"
FREEDOM!!!!!!!!!!!!! (from ALS)..."warrior athlete"...raising awareness...racing for research and a cure..."so others may live"...what an echo heard in this battle in this WarOnALS...G-D bless and thank you, for all (poet-spirits)...(poets-...pALS)...their families and friends and the "constant warrior" community...you all define Jon words, "when the cause is bigger than the self"..."Mo...chuisle"...lol, "the -blazeman, (alswarriorpoet-spirit)...Jon's mom and dad.