Friday, September 23, 2011

I Think I Might Just Be Able To Do This!!!!!

Last Sunday was the 2nd Annual Ironman Syracuse 70.3. Last year I was unemployed and volunteered a lot. This year I was able to volunteer at the Information Booth both Saturday afternoon at the Expo and Sunday morning at the race site. Last year for the race itself, I volunteered at the water stop at mile 12 on the run. It was pretty cool to see everyone run by, but this year I wanted to be at Jamesville Beach. Unlike last year, the Start and Finish lines were both at the park. So, by volunteering at the park, I could see the start, some swimming, some transitions, some biking, some running, and the finish...basically, I got to see it all. And by working the morning shift, I could be there to enjoy the finish.

I never once thought about participating in this year's event. Let me take that back, I actually gave some thought to participating on a relay team. I had no desire to do the bike portion, but I would be OK with the swim or the run. I never asked anyone if they wanted to join me, but if the opportunity came up, I would have considered it. Since the opportunity never did come up, I figured a relay would be possible next year.

But something happened on Sunday: something convinced me that I could do the entire thing next year. Do I expect to set a course record?!?!? Far from it!!! I just think I can finish...maybe around 7 hours.

But it's that darn bike course. I will definitely have to give that bike course a ride this fall before I decide for sure. It's the fear of the unknown and if I can get on that course and know what I'm in for, it might just not be too bad.

After I watched some people cross the finish line, I decided to pack up and head out. When I got to my vehicle, I saw that some people put some flyers under everyone's wipers. But something else was there too: a 70.3 Euro sticker for the rear window. I envy people who have them on their vehicles. I'm definitely holding onto mine because, who knows...maybe on June 24, 2012 I can actually put one on my vehicle.


Sunday, September 11, 2011

Memories of 9/11

I'm sitting here at my computer listening to my husband and son play catch with the football in the backyard while our dog tries to steal the ball from them. Ten years ago I questioned whether I would hear sounds like this in my life.

The events of 9/11 actually started months before for me. In November 2000, Dan and I got engaged and our wedding was set for October 13, 2001. I was in the middle of planning the biggest event of my life. During the first week of August 2001, I was laid off from my job at a telecommunications company Telergy (I was a Corporate Trainer) and then a few weeks later I started taking a class at SUNY Cortland starting down the path of a career in Sports Management. On September 11, I still hadn't found a job. Needless to say, life wasn't normal for me.

Prior to my job at Telergy, I worked at IKON Office Solutions (the company where Dan and I met and where Dan still worked at the time) as a trainer. When I lost my job, IKON didn't have any openings, but they were able to use me as a contractor when they needed an instructor. The evening of September 11, I was scheduled to teach an Advanced class in Microsoft Word. I didn't teach Advanced classes very often, so I wanted to make sure I reviewed the material and was ready to teach. Because of this, I had the TV off and was prepping on the computer.

Around 9:00 AM the phone rang it was Dan. He said to turn on the TV because something happened at the World Trade Center. I hung up, turned on the TV, and couldn't believe what I was seeing. I called him back to fill him in. Awhile later, I called him back and told him the Pentagon had been hit. Awhile later, I called him back and told him other planes had been hijacked. Awhile later, I called him back and told him a hijacked plane crashed in PA. Awhile later, I called him back and told him the first tower collapsed. Awhile later, I called him back to tell him the second tower collapsed...but he didn't answer. By now, his company set up a TV for the employees to watch coverage and I was alone to deal with it. All I could do was sit in my living room and sob.

The apartment we lived in was in the village of Liverpool and planes that were landing at the airport frequently flew right over our building. Soon all air travel was cancelled...and the silence in the air was creepy. The silence occasionally was broken by the sound of the fighter jets taking off and landing. I hated that sound. Why were they up? Please tell me its only to patrol the air!

I remember laying in bed that night wondering what was in store for the country. Were we going to be invaded? Were we going to die? Would I make it to my wedding? Looking back these seem like weird questions, but at that time, who knew?!?!?!

A short time ago, I went out for a short run as part of Team Red White & Blue's Moving Tribute to those fallen in the events of 9/11. During my run I thought about the events of that day and the fact that I'm able to run where people in some countries (especially women) don't have that right. So, although it was a short run and something very small in the grand scheme of things, I'm glad I could do my part to help remember.