Here is one story worth sharing. Joanne was my medical volunteer from past triathlons and then participated in the 2008 Strathmore Women’s Triathlon. When I get letters like this, it makes all the work organizing the triathlon so worthwhile.
” Dear Deanne,
It is the day after the triathlon and I am still grinning from ear to ear. I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart for organizing this event. I am one of those people who never thought I could do something like this. In fact – it was never even a blip on my radar – not that I haven’t been exposed to triathlons before, I just never believed in myself enough to think I could do it. But you did. You believed in me just as you believe in all women who want to give themselves a chance. Here is my story: I have been a volunteer for you for the previous 4 years. I have stood at the finish line and been truly happy for each and every person who crossed it as I watched to make sure they were OK.
Each year you told me I might just get inspired. And each year I laughed and never believed it would happen. Then last summer I watched a 62 year old grandmother cross the finish line with her 7 year old grandson. Both were laughing and jumping up and down. There really are no words to describe either their emotion at that moment or what happened inside me. But for just a flicker of a second I thought maybe – just maybe – I could do it.
I joined my local gym and pool the next day. I swam and I ran and was afraid of the bike and decided to wait until spring for that part! I would like to tell you the story was a good one – of a year of training and all happy things.
The truth is I got very sick in February of this year and was hospitalized for a time and unable to train for an even longer time. I was unable to eat and nutrition and training was a problem. In May two things occurred – I turned 50 and my physicians said I could get back in the pool.
With renewed vigour I joined your triathlon training group and dusted off my ol’ bike and even though I was terribly slow and less than fit – I persevered. Yesterday I finished the triathlon 248th out of 257! I too threw my arms in the air and jumped over the finish line with my husband and pregnant daughter right there cheering loudly! I hope this has given you a glimpse of the difference you make in people lives. Organizing this event is a big job and sometimes there is not enough thanks for how much work goes into it.
So from me to you – a great big THANK YOU! Joanne (#28) “