5 March 2011

slept in

I wanted to watch the Ironman competition on live video, but my hero crossed the finish line as I slept. I think he would approve of the lapse.

As I type this the tail-enders are crossing the line, 16 hours after they started the race with the swim early in the morning. Despite the terrible conditions they are exhaustedly happy. They don't worry about the ticking clock, and stop to hug their supporters before they get to the finish line. They come from all body types, age groups, nations and occupations. They are all in this together, equal competitors with a shared goal. Punctures, rain, other obstacles do not choose one over another because they are more or less wealthy or more or less "worthy".

At 16 hours and 6 minutes after the race began a young Asian runner has knelt on the ground just before the finish line, taken a ring from his kit and, looking into the crowd said, for all the world to hear, "I hope our love is as strong as an ironman. Will you marry me?" Luckily the young lady said "Yes". I get tearful watching the finish at the best of times, but this scene, as the rain poured down, was very special. I wish them a life of happiness. (I also hope that I am never put in such a position, my answer would almost certainly be NO!!!)

What is it that drives some to compete against themselves, pushing their bodies to the limits, while others choose more antisocial activities? If only we could channel more people to positive action, to social and personal good. Surely if all we ask of life is good health and happy relationships the rest would fall into place? Seven minutes after the proposal a young woman crosses the line. Noone is there to meet her, she accepts her medal and the towel placed around her by officials, and disappears from view. Somehow you sense that inside her is a deep personal satisfaction, she has made it, she is an "Ironman".

You can read the progress of the event, and see some pretty cool photos, here.

The last competitors are now 4 kilometres from the finish. The announcer who keeps up the encouragement although it is almost midnight asks us to keep throwing our positive thoughts out there to them. A band of supporters ignore the rain and call out to the exhausted runners. I didn't see my son cross the finish line, but I will cheer in the last competitors from my couch on the other side of the world. They deserve recognition too.

Today I am grateful for positive examples to follow.


Sarah said...

I missed the proposal!!!
I hope they put on video snippets like they did one year.
Then we can watch CJ (and the proposal) over and over again!

Jackerd said...

Now you made me curious. I what position do you have to be in to say YES.;-)

Kay said...

A very private one!
I don't like surprises very much, and certainly not public ones.

Sarah said...

^ Pssssh, mamma! You need to learn to love all things beautiful! A proposal, public or private, is an offering of a person's heart! Forget the world...Don't be too eager to say 'no' to beauty. ;)

Sarah said...

Wait, wait...Perhaps the best way to write it is this!
If you are focused on the people around you, and not the man in front of you, you are doing it wrong. ;)

Kay said...

Yes... well... let's leave it at that! Zacchi and Piccolina are quite OK with the status quo!