Saturday, July 27, 2013

If Heaven Wasn't So Far Away...

I'd pack up my bike and go for the day :) Losing them wouldn't be so hard to take...

Two years ago, today, my life changed as drastically as one's life can change in an instant.  Not to much earlier in the summer I had been talking to my dad about triathlon.  My first 1/2 Ironman was on the horizon at the end of September, my first marathon at the end of October, I was getting ready for a big training weekend with DC Tri up at Deep Creek Lake, and I was considering upgrading to a triathlon bike.  He was
my biggest supporter, my guru if you will, enjoying his retirement and having time to do some bike and racing recon for me.  When I brought up Ironman and the crazy people I'd met that were going to do an Ironman and how I don't think I'd ever do one he patiently hindsight he probably knew all along I'd end up doing one.  A couple weeks later when I started realizing some of the training I was doing was near Ironman distance and I could possibly complete an Ironman he was completely supportive with positive encouragement, even tossing around the idea of spending Thanksgiving in Cozumel, so I could race Ironman Cozumel.

Holli Finneren, You are an Ironman.
As I was out for a long weekday ride of my own in DC my dad cycled home in Lake Orion, MI when a distracted driver struck him from behind.  I missed the training weekend as I spent time at home with family, friends, and loved ones grieving, remembering, painting a ghost bike, and trying to put the pieces together.  2 weeks later I spent a great weekend in Luray, VA with my brother - camping, racing, and getting back on the bike.  After winning my age group for the 1st time in Luray, I bought a tri-bike once back in DC, and signed up for the distance my dad knew I'd do all along...Ironman Louisville.  I spent the next year planning, training, and preparing for Ironman.  I met awesome people in Georgia and DC on the same journey, spending long hours on the bike and run, sharing the ups and downs, the pain and excitement.  Remembering along the way, thanks to Mary, to celebrate life.

I'm now in Lake Placid for my 2nd Ironman experience, this time as a sherpa for Adam.  The energy is awesome, the views and course are absolutely gorgeous and I couldn't think of a better group of people to be surrounded by then DC Tri or a better person to sherpa for.  So thank you, dad, for always believing in me, never having an ounce of doubt, and encouraging me to chase my dreams.  Without you, I wouldn't be here today, enjoying a perfect bike ride through Lake Placid, NY to celebrate life, fun, and crazy dreams.


1 comment:

  1. I just cried through the whole thing and could barely read it through the tears! I love you Holli Marie and your Dad is watching over you, loving you and cheering you on always!