“Mrs. Jordan is a 49-year-old female who appears in excellent health. She was removed from the swim course at 9:04am and brought to the medical center. She suffered what appears to be an acute asthma attack, triggered most likely by the excitement and anxiety of the event. Race medics removed her from the course with protestations from Mrs. Jordan at buoy #18 (of 24) because of the severity of the symptoms.”
Then more medical speak about blood gasses, oxygen administration, and so forth.
And just that quick the race was over.
My version of it would include lots more drama, but this is good enough to give you a picture of what happened. I’ve never had anything like this happen before, but it gives me new respect for those who suffer from asthma. Even this morning my lungs, throat, and chest are still burning with the inflammation.
Disappointed. Frustrated. Pissed off. Was that your next question? And you know I’m never a person of just a few words, so here’s the expanded version of that.
Yesterday, I was devastated. Today and this month, I’m disappointed. Next month, and for longer term, I know that life is made up of what you make happen, and what you make of what happens. And here’s what I’m making of this experience.
Ironman and I are not over. Not by a wide shot. I have decided that I will give myself 3 chances to accomplish this (3 strikes, 3 wishes, 3 guesses, so 3 chances seems good). It won’t surprise anyone who reads this blog that I spent a lot of time last night on the internet looking for races. China. Brazil. Utah. France. I’d like to tag on to this series of training, but these events are so highly structured, registration usually closes several months out. I’d like to give it a second go before the end of this year (meaning my third go may even bring me back here next March).
Everything about this (with the tiny exception of the race itself) has been a wonderful experience. Even the grueling days of training, even in the cold, has been challenging and satisfying, which for me is a good thing. This trip to NZ has been fabulous, and it’s not over yet. The people I have met along the way, the things I have learned about myself, the changes I’ve made in my body, these are all growth events that make up what I think life is all about. So I will not call this Epic Fail, I’ll call this Epic Attempt.
Your kind words of encouragement here and Facebook have touched me profoundly; so much that I’m going to assemble them in some fashion of a hard copy and incorporate them into a training aid of some sort. Thank you for your faith in me, your well-wishes, your patience as friends and clients, your generosity of time and effort to keep track of all my progress.
Pictures to come of our multi-day raft trip with Sam and Laura. We’ll be out of touch a few days before heading back home.
Thank you for reading, and all that it implies – your interest, your participation, your involvement, your support.
March 6, 2010 at 9:31 pm
I am beyond proud of you, for working so hard yes, but handling it with such grace is a beautiful thing. You’re my idol.
March 7, 2010 at 4:37 am
maybe I shouldn’t have thought of the hot sweaty volleyball guys – that’s what made me get all out of breath! Thanks for being so wonderful and supportive…Jesse and I are kayaking with Sam and Laura for a couple of days, then we start working our way home…don’t know yet about flights and the class this weekend, but I’m trying to make it…can’t wait to see you!
March 6, 2010 at 10:52 pm
Hey Gayle, glad to hear you are OK – we were worried when we did not see you out there. We are both asthmatic, so we know what you mean and how it feels.
Are you still going to the after-race party? Let us know, we want to see you before we go at least for a coffee or something.
Glad you’re not giving up on Ironman, it will never give up on you. Just keeps drawing you back in – we all have bad days, but it is the good ones that keep you coming back for more.
Let us know where you are going for the next one – we travel!
See you soon.
The Girls xx
March 7, 2010 at 4:42 am
My girls –
Thanks for keeping track of me…I need advice on the handling the nerves/excitement/anxiety thing! How did you both do? We watched a bit of the race and we were all looking for you but we all missed you!
We have left Taupo – we tacked on an extra day to the kayaking extravanganza we’re doing with the kids, but I will take you up on the offer for coffee – just don’t know yet when and where! Maybe in England, maybe US?
I’m looking at a race in Ohio in September – it’s a first for the location, and works with my schedule…
We should probably take our chat elsewhere – this isn’t too conducive – do you prefer email, IM, Facebook, Skype??
Rock the party tonight!!
Thanks again for everything!
March 8, 2010 at 12:58 am
Well, that was inconvenient. One extra little thing to plan for before your next Iron Man, I suppose. All the same, I’m conniving with my friends to order a case from Volcano Winery, and one of them will still be yours (although I may snitch one class). Be safe coming back, and I look forward to seeing you.
March 8, 2010 at 12:59 am
Consolation prize: you don’t have worry about what you’ll blog about in the short-term future, now. Eh?
March 8, 2010 at 11:43 am
Just wanted to thank you for allowing me to share in your highs and lows while you have been in NZ. I take my hat off to you for what you achieved and have been right there with you throughout your Ironman odyssey. You have given many gifts.
Life is definitely what happens while we’re making other plans.. Okay, so you are now on an Ironman journey rather than a single mission, …but it is the journeys that have the intriguing side roads.
blessings and go well
March 8, 2010 at 4:37 pm
Well look at all the people that are patting you on the back. They don’t know you like I do. I suppose the reward will be lost forever. Damn it Girl. I am old but my eyes still work. There is always the next one lets see you will be 60 and using a walker do they have a contest that includes a walker?
I am proud of you for the effort. So when are you going back to work my back hurts.
I want you to have lunch with my group and tell them what you went through. You know we have some that will want to try some day.
Take care of your self see you when you get home.
March 9, 2010 at 6:42 am
Hey Gayle, any of the above ways to be in touch work for us – check your work email, we sent you a fuller message there – Ohio was mentioned too.
Hope you have a great time kayaking – we are at Auckland airport right now, making the most of the airport VIP lounge – has to be done! – waiting for the 26 hour flight home via LA. We have sent you race reports in the message – you were not the only one having a bad day, it happens to us all!