Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Why I have an IM tat...Redux.

This is a post for 2006 when the topic came up on the Trifuel website.
I've added a few things and adjusted some of the writing. Maybe it's better, but really I don't GARA if it is or not:

After I did my first Ironman in 2003, I got an Ironman logo tattoo. The one you see here.
It was just a few days after the race and I fell asleep in the chair. Some folks thought I was bragging, self-focused and big headed to have that thing on my calf. "Oh! Look at me! I'm an IRONMAN!

They don't know me.
Getting the tat had NOTHING to do with finishing Ironman. It did have everything to do with getting to the start line in one piece and with some sanity. The previous ten years of my life had been tragic and I mean that in the classic sense.

Tragedy: Noun Dealing with a serious theme, typically that of a noble person whose character is flawed by a weakness which causes him to break moral precept and which inevitably leads to his downfall or destruction.

My Dad died and for awhile I lost my moral compass. My marriage shattered, I ended up in a relationship I should never have been in, lost everything including my self respect and almost didn't make it. There were days I wanted to jump off of something really high.
Little by little, I started to come back.
I started to train for Ironman Lake Placid in 2002, but my Mom became ill and died. My sisters and I cared for her. It was ugly. With the help of family and a good therapist I was able to leave a horrible relationship, get myself righted and see my situation for what it really was.
"Re-called to life" if you read Dickens.
I signed up for IMLP 2003 and, despite some brief mis-steps in my personal life, was able to get back what I had lost.
My dignity, self respect, and the goodness inside that had been lost too long under an bad influence.
Training was hard...there were days I didn't want to get out of bed, but did, because Ironman was the path back to myself.
Standing there on the shore on Mirror Lake the morning of Ironman I knew...the kid was alright.
The Tat was a symbol of all that, of being back among the living, of being whole again, of being better than the darker angels we all carry inside of us.
Things have come together, now, and as I prepare for Ironman Lake Placid on July 26th of this July, my fourth. I am back to who I always was.


  1. to who you alwasy were? Or to who you have always been becoming? Keep the journey going man, I love your writing.