Izzy and the 2014 Half Pint Triathlon

finished

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate,

You raced in your 4th triathlon on Saturday, Izzy. This particular race was put on by the Williamson County Parks and Rec department: The Half Pint Triathlon: 100 yard swim, 3 mile bike, 1 mile run.

You’re an incredible swimmer already and practice daily with Excel. Training for triathlons has allowed us to have some meaningful (and some silly) talks while we’ve been out on short bike rides and runs together though. Each of those 30 minute training sessions have meant more to me than I can explain. While I’ll be happy with whatever you choose for your sporting life I am thrilled that right now swimming and triathlon is what you love. I’m more thrilled that we can have father-daughter time together – which is about far more than sport. We’ve talked about family life, college, growing up, marriage, Faith, and how you might one day help people.

Max and Kate, you spent the night with Gramma and Grandfather on Friday night. We thought 5am would be too early to wake you up for a triathlon on Saturday. Izzy, you, Mommy, and I went to our favorite prerace dinner spot on Friday evening: Mellow Mushroom. Eating a jerk chicken and pineapple pizza the night before a big race has become both our tradition.

Jerk Chicken and Pineapple pizza at Mellow Mushroom: prerace tradition

Jerk Chicken and Pineapple pizza at Mellow Mushroom: prerace tradition

When we got home we laid out all of your race gear and talked through each sport and the gear required for each – then we packed your bag and laid out your clothes for the morning. 

We woke up at 5am Saturday morning and drove up to Franklin. Transition closed at 7am for the 7:30 race start, so we wanted to arrive early.  Nana and Papaw came down from Hendersonville to watch you race too. 

setting up transition and discussing strategy prerace

setting up transition and discussing strategy prerace

ready to swim!

ready to swim!

Swim Exit at the front of the pack.

Swim Exit at the front of the pack.

passing by on the 1st of your 4 bike loops.

passing by on the 1st of your 4 bike loops.

final lap

final lap

On the run! You were flying. I have to admit -I'm a little jealous because you look way more "pro" than I do.

On the run! You were flying. I have to admit -I’m a little jealous because you look way more “pro” than I do.

about to cross the finish line

about to cross the finish line

You had a great day – finishing 12th overall, 4th place girl, and 1st place 10 year old girl! As always, regardless of whatever the results may have been, I was proud of you. You’re growing up so fast, and sometimes its hard watching just how grown you’re becoming. But it’s all opening up a new world for us. Our daddy-daughter dates used to be ribs and a movie. Now you want to go running with me and talk. 

Sometimes my own training starts to feel like a struggle and I wonder why I’m still doing this. There are lots of reasons – but now, among those, is that I know you’re watching how I handle adversity, the struggle, and the beauty that comes from this sport. It’s about way more than me proving something to myself now. 

Izzy, you’ve always been special. Now you want to train for your first 5k this fall. I can’t wait to hit the road and trails with you. You’re also already talking about moving up to “grown up” races next season. I’m not sure I’m ready for that yet. We’ll see…you’re still my “baby”.

izzyanddaddy

We all are always proud of you sweet Izzy.

I love you,

– Daddy