Back in January, I decided to begin this blog purely to document my training, have a log to refer back to in order to assess the training, and to put down my thoughts about the process.  As time went on, clients and friends expressed such an interest in how it was going, I made the blog public to anyone who wanted to see what training for a Half-Ironman Triathlon involved.  It has become such a source of support and encourage to me when folks comment on, either online or in person, how the training was proceeding.  I feel absolutely compelled to write this post as my feeble attempt to thank those people who have been so enthusiastically supportive of this undertaking.  As any athlete knows, when it’s time for the event, it appears that it’s just you and the ocean, you and the bike, you and the mat, you and the road, you and the mountain, you and the hoop; but the reality of it is, it’s an accumulation of all of those people who have lifted you up, told you You Could Do It, told you how proud they were of you.  I contend that there is no way I would have or could have done this thing without the love and support of so many people.  Words are weak for expressing this, and when I see you in person, I’ll try to tell you again.

Clients:  thank to each of you for your interest in, and kind words about, this journey I’m on.  I know you come to me to have your kinks and knots worked out, and when you take the time to ask questions about my progress, and to offer words of encouragement, it makes me again realize what a special group of clients I have.  You inspire me with the stories of your own lives, your efforts to function at your optimal best in spite of aches, pains, injuries, surgeries, and setbacks.

My staff:  thank you to the best group of massage therapists EVER.  You girls lift my spirits every time I see you with your smiles and compassion and concern, for not only me, but for each of your clients and each other.  You make me and the business look so good, and you do it with such grace and patience, even when your boss FORGETS TO PAY YOU when she leaves town!

Posse from MBI:  You have no idea how often I think of you and our time together in Massage Therapy school.  You are my sisters and I love you so much.  You give me a place to gripe and complain, share concerns about work/clients/life and I miss our daily contact.  I’m never drinking too much with you again, because the last time I did, I made this silly vow about  “doing an Ironman the year I turn 50”.

Posse from MAC:  I work in an environment where, with the exception of the gym manager and a couple of the trainers, I could age-wise be the mother of every person on staff.  You are a joy to work with – the trials and lives of my twenty-somethings delight, inspire, frustrate, uplift, and tickle me.  I love your spirit and energy, I love your drive and drama, I love your egocentricity and generosity.  You make it a pleasure to come to work, and you keep me laughing and entertained.  Thank you for every smile and sweet gesture you send my way.

Friends:  To every person who ever posted a comment on the blog, posted on my Facebook wall, texted me, left me a voicemail, THANK YOU for your precious words of encouragement and support.  On the long 9.5 hours of this event, I reviewed in my mind every single word that I had read and heard, I remembered every hug and attagirl, I drew upon your faith in me and your confidence that I would do my best.  I am not trying to flatter you when I say that every single word meant something to me, and the cumulative effect of those words pushed me on to the finish line.

Parents:  Anyone who knows my parents knows that my dad is the force behind my Sense of Adventure.  He himself logged thousands of mile on his own bicycle over the years, and never once shut me down on any adventure I wanted to take of my own.  When I was nineteen and wanted to go to Europe for the summer with my backpack and Eurail pass, he bought the maps.  When I was sixteen and wanted to go on a cross-country bike ride, he helped me pack.  When I was sixteen and about to begin my senior year, he bought me a t-shirt that said “Go to hell, world, I’m a senior”.  My mom, on the other hand, worries if I don’t have enough cover to sleep under in my own bed in my own house.  She’s the sweetest, most compassionate, most gentle, caring, thoughtful soul I have ever met, and she has suffered because of my primal need for, and ensuing fulfillment of,  adventure and achievement.  I love these two people with all my heart, and I thank them both for everything they do for me, past, present, and future.

Brother:  Besides the very obvious gratitude to brother for my crew of 9 to have crashed in his beautiful condo on race weekend, and the additional use of it for vacation/recreation/training purposes the last two years, I owe my brother a huge thank you for being my go-to guy for guidance, comfort, and inspiration.  This man is everything a big brother should be, and then some.  When I was struggling in the water, I thought of brother doing his own triathlon without the use of legs.  When I was struggling on the bike, I thought of brother doing the Detroit Marathon in a wheelchair when his water bottles were frozen solid on the course.  When I was struggling on the run course, I thought of my brother maintaining his farm, his house, his business, his friends, and all of us, from his chair.  I love you bubba, and I am grateful every moment of every day you are my brother.

Kids:  This list has gotten more and more difficult as I’ve gone on, because there just aren’t enough words, even for an English major, to describe how I feel about each of you.  My precious children, each of you is the source of my greatest joy and pleasure.  I cannot get enough of you, and just being in your presence fulfills and sustains me.  I am so unbelievably proud of who each of you is becoming, and the gift of your presence at this significant event in my life is the best Mother’s Day present I have ever known.  I cannot possibly seek to be my own best self without reminding you to listen to your heart, know yourself, seek out your dreams and hopes and goals, and to seize the carp every single diem.  And to the special and significant people in YOUR lives, thank you for appreciating and loving my kids the way you do, and for putting up with everything you put up with to be connected to a Jordan.

Jesse:  For the millionth event in my life, I could not have done this without you.  You have been my biggest and best supporter, cheerleader, mechanic, driver, logistics captain, picture-taker, and cat herder.  Everyone knows how high-maintenance I am, and you have been patient and giving and accomodating at every turn.  Everyone may not know you walked the last 11 miles with me with a torn groin muscle and blisters on the bottoms of both feet.  Thank you for every mile you logged on the bikes with me in training, and every meal you ate alone because I was swimming or running or training in some fashion.

The title of this post is You’ll Never Know How Grateful, and you simply won’t.  I require my personal training clients to keep a journal of their progress, one page of which I ask them to title:  Gratitude Page.  I think when we live our lives with a sense of gratitude for every single day, every single person, every single moment we draw breath, we come closer to maximizing our health and happiness than through almost any other avenue.  I am so humbled and moved by the people surrounding me, and I am overwhelmed by the amount of support and love you have all shown.  Thank you. Thank you.  Thank you.