Epic Inspiration: The Iron(wo)man Who Schooled Me

Ironman cycling cyclist

While riding at my favorite park today, I was passed by a fellow cyclist. There’s nothing unique nor revolutionary about this as people pass each other all the time.

What made the moment so inspiring was that the passer was probably ten years my senior and on the plus side. The type of person most of us would likely (and regrettably) walk by without thinking she would ever compete in a triathlon, let alone have the desire.

But her gear told another story. So did her speed, strength and stamina.

I’d like to think I’m not a turtle on the bike and that I can keep a good clip with seasoned cyclists. But this remarkable woman whizzed past me like a congressman exiting a town hall. I decided to try to catch up to her – an endeavor that took over a mile and every bit of gusto I could muster.

When I did finally arrive handle bar to handle bar, I managed to eke out enough O2 to utter, “You’re a formidable opponent.”

Her response was not exactly indicative of her prowess. “I try,” she declared with a smile.

“I try?” At her pace, she was on par to bag and tag Lance Armstrong (hopefully without the steroids.)

I idled back to watch Ms. I Try burn rubber while I choked on her dust. And three things occured to me:

1. Let us not forget that there’s an athlete inside each of us.

2. Let us never assume that someone cannot compete or achieve greatness. History has always shown that the so-called “least among us” can do more.

3. Let us embrace everyone and build communities.

Thanks, Ironwoman.

PS – Seriously, would it have killed you to let me draft a little?


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