[ED: This is not a sport to try without a strong support team. They lift you up when all is down. They stand by you when you're being difficult, when you're hangry, when you're stressed out. Team Unicorn Sparkle Adventure has the best cheer squad around. Hands down. My support team provides me with so much strength, motivation and courage. Below you'll see but one example of why. My mommy has graciously offered her views on the ups and downs she experienced during my Ironman Cozumel race. Unedited. Enjoy!] “Mom, if there is anyway you could swing coming to Cozumel when I do the Ironman, it would sure be great to have you there.”
I knew I had to do it (I was hooked after going to the Calgary event anyway!) and it was important to him and no matter how old your children are, you want to support them, and so the planning was underway!
Who wouldn’t want to spend a week in the sun, sand and ……. oh boy – the worrying started weeks before the trip! I know he has worked so hard – been so disciplined in his training – is in great shape but …… there’s the heat, there’s that massive ocean – what if he gets sick from something at the resort and what if his IT Band acts up – not that I ever doubted he couldn’t do this because I know if anyone could it would be Brandon – it was those “unknowns.” Completing this goal was everything to him and for weeks I hoped and prayed that success would be his!
So off we go!
The days leading up to the race were great for us but I could tell they were tough for Brandon – it was good he went early to get accustomed to the heat – to test the bike trail and to get some swimming in the ocean – but I could see the “long” days were hard to handle. I tried not to ask too many questions (something my kids say I do a lot) and I gave him space as I know that is how he works.
Saturday night was an early night for all – not sure how much sleep everyone else got but this mom had a restless night.
Up at 5:00 AM and down to the lobby to give my boy one more “support” hug as he, Alex and team organizer, Trevor, headed out to the swim start. The support crew left the resort later at 6:30 AM – Unicorn masks in hand – Wes, Brent, Sarah, Rod, and I were ready to go – some a bit draggy but they powered through!!!
We arrived at Chankanaab Park and headed down to the waterfront. After a bite to eat in the restaurant, we fought for a frontline spot to watch for Alex and Brandon. As expected Alex was out of the water in record time and off to her bike. As would be the case the whole day, there were estimated times that Trevor felt Brandon and Alex would complete each segment of the race.
As I watched each group of swimmers in the distance, I thought please let the next group include Brandon – I just wanted him out of that ocean and I felt the rest of the day would be ok. I strained to see each swimmer that came out of the water and then – oh my goodness – there he was – 20 minutes ahead of what we thought – well I must be honest – I cried but I think it was right at that moment I knew this was going to be a day he would never forget!
We ran to the area where he would transition to the bike and there again were lucky to get a spot right on the rope to watch for him to get to the starting line. In no time at all there he was - there was time for an “I love you B” and an “I love you too” back and off he went.
Support team took a bus downtown to find our first “waiting” spot to catch both Brandon and Alex on the bike trail. Waiting – waiting just to see him and know all was well – and there he comes smiling and looking strong. This was the case for each lap and at the bike finish line – he got off and looked amazing and was still smiling – making mom feel great!
I ran with Trevor and the crew to the area where he would come out of the tent and start his run. I was again reassured as he came out smiling and looking fantastic! Another hug and off again for the last leg of this event.
We were waiting for him as he completed each lap of his run – and he even took the time to stop to hug his mom and friends along the way – I really can’t explain the pride and love I felt as this day just flew by – I know most would say – 12 hours – that is a long day – and it was but in a good way.
Of course, the highlight of the day was seeing him run that last leg of the race – all of us and the crowd cheering – Trevor taking the video – Brandon’s arms raised in victory and that smile……… as the announcer said “Brandon Holterman from Canada – You. Are. An. Ironman!”
He did it!
I knew he would and those unknowns I was worried about were nonexistent that day and I was grateful – happy for him – filled with pride (one of many times) and once again full of love and joy to say that I was the mom of this young man who his whole life has needed to succeed and excel in everything he did. Some of those times he maybe had some help and guidance but this time he and he alone achieved this goal - all because of his determination, discipline, and desire to achieve.
Nothing more to say but I love you and Thank You for including me in this journey. xoxoxoxoxox