The 2018 event this past weekend would have been the third time I participated in the Challenged Athletes Foundation big triathlon in San Diego, but this year a broken foot relegated me to being a cheerleader. My good friend and triathlon guide, Robin Conlon, did it for both of us. She completed the one mile open water ocean swim, 44 mi bike ride, and the 10 mile run in fine fashion! Thank you, Robin, for being a faithful and expert training partner, and for being there to support hundreds of other challenged athletes through your participation!
This is a triathlon like no other. Throughout the day, hundreds of challenged athletes with varying disabilities compete and inspire alongside their non-disabled counterparts. Young children, and even a 93 year old veteran, in their wheel chairs or on their prosthetic legs, encourage and inspire each other and every other able bodied person in attendance! The athletes might be in wheel chairs, or have prosthetic legs and arms, or they might be blind, but one thing they all have in common is a no excuses, never give up attitude. They keep moving forward despite being disabled, despite being different, and despite the additional obstacles they face. Rather than disabled, it may be more appropriate to call them ‘differently abled”. It is truly a remarkable and inspiring event!
My friends, life is full of challenges that we all encounter at one time or another. Despite the pain, fear, or difficult times, I encourage you to follow the example of these remarkable disabled athletes and never give up, don’t ever quit. For when you can live like this, only the best is yet to come!