For a few years now, I have said that I was going to compete in Ironman Lake Placid as I am from Chateaugay, New York and it would be great to go home for my first Ironman. My journey to this Ironman has been a much more long and winding road than I had anticipated but those of you who know me probably are not surprised by this!!
I am going to dedicate this Ironman to Nicole Fleury and her family. They played a critical role in my life during my teenage years and I became a permanent fixture at their house on weekends playing basketball. They made me feel part of their family and for that I am forever grateful. Sadly, Nicole died in a car accident in 1998, returning to Canton college for basketball practice where she played under my old assistant coach. Nicole’s family started a Scholarship Fund in her name for young athletes from Section X wanting to play basketball at Canton. They must demonstrate sportsmanship, leadership, compassion, and a love for animals and athletics.
People have asked how they can support me to achieve this goal and it would mean most to me if you contributed to this Scholarship Fund. I will be setting up a link and a goal amount to reach by Ironman.
Nicole was a great kid…she was the middle child between Michelle and Katie. Michelle initially played ball with me all the time but she was older and also had other interests and things to do. Katie was younger and very affectionate and would sit on my lap while I rested and say nice things to me. She was very good for my ego!! But Nicole…she always wanted to play ball. When I first started hanging out, I would cream her. I was so much taller and just older. But as the years passed, she grew taller than me and even though I was playing in college…Nicole felt like she should beat me at one-on-one. I enjoyed those games and loved Nicole’s drive but more so her loving spirit and kindness and her trash talking!! She made my life fun while I was there. In a time when my world seemed so crazy and out of control….this family helped me feel normal.
So this blog will be not only about my Ironman training but also about stories of my past and things I think about when I train. Ironman training certainly provides time to reflect on your past. It has taken me a long time to understand and appreciate just how significantly a role some people played in my past to shape me to who I have become today. For some of you…Coach Tallon and the Fleury’s, specifically…it wasn’t an easy road with me but hopefully you can now smile that I didn’t turn out all that bad!!!
So I would love to hear from people and also try to promote more healthy behavior and events for those of you back in Upstate NY. I am looking forward to seeing many of you on July 25, 2010!