Monday, November 8, 2010

I am the Wife of an Ironman

Being the wife of an Ironman means that for the last 7 months I have sacrificed our family time for my husband's training schedule. I have spent extra time and money grocery shopping to feed Christopher his 5000 calories a day making sure nothing had high fructose corn syrup or enriched flour in it. I have spent many an evening watching Christopher fall asleep on the couch within minutes of getting home because he has spent everything he had on training and work.
I have also never been more proud of someone. I have never experienced the level of joy and pride while watching an athletic event as I did on Saturday, as Christopher completed his Ironman! The smile on his face and knowing how much went into being able to do this brought me to tears. Then I looked around at the 2,000 other athletes who had given up so much to accomplish so much and the tears flowed harder. You could see the pain, the story, the joy, the commitment in each person's eyes as they ran by.
From the man with one leg hopping through the sand to start the second lap of his swim, to the woman who missed the swim cut off by less than a minute and was forced to quit. There were stories upon stories out there that day. I loved every minute of it.
I made a sign that I held up during the Marathon that said "You are Strong". I don't know if anyone got encouragement from it, I hope so, but I know many people looked and read it and one guy passed and jokingly said "it should say "You are Tired"!"
Another older man running by slowed down and asked "Do these shorts make my butt look big?"
One of other wives and I assured him that he looked "hot" with big smiles on our faces. It was great to see so many people leaning on their sense of humor to make the run more bearable.
One of the best things about the race bibs at Ironman is that the athletes name is printed on the front making it easy for spectators to cheer and encourage by name. It is a personal way to make people feel special and that someone else cares about their race along with them. Cheering at the Ironman is an experience all its own. Your heart breaks at the hurt and your heart flies with the successes. Watching athletes come down the last bit to the finish and seeing the look of relief and pride on their faces was so rewarding. Knowing they completed the 2.4mile swim, the 112mile bike and the 26.2mile run and they were about to join the elite group and be called an Ironman.
And then I saw him. The love of my life running towards the finish with a huge smile on his face. My favorite part was hearing the announcer over the loudspeaker say. Christopher McClintock....You are an Ironman!
It was all worth it.


kimberlywenger said...

Oh Christie, what a beautiful tribue to your husband. I can imagine how much joy you felt as he completed his goal. I accomplished a MAJOR goal in my life this year and I know what a blessing it was to have people who loved me there to cheer me on and celebrate the accomplishment at the end. I'm sure you were a huge blessing to him. Thanks for sharing!

The Hamons said...

Am totally sobbing at work! Such a beautiful moment for you guys. So proud of you both - I can only begin to imagine the emotions running through you both at the moment of this picture.

Love you guys!!

Bri said...

That is so awesome! And totally made me cry :)

suzannah {so much shouting, so much laughter} said...

amazing amazing amazing:)