shared experiences

This past weekend I was lucky to go down to Panama City, Florida to watch my little brother race in his very first Ironman triathlon. For those of you who are not in the triathlon world, basically, an Ironman is about a 2-mile swim, a 112-mile bike ride, and finally finish it off with a marathon (26 mile) run. To do something like this is not only completely crazy, but also insanely inspiring. People from all walks of life participate in the Ironman race. You have no idea how many people I saw who are significantly older than me (an 81 year old did the race) along with many new mommies and daddies who had their kids on the sidelines cheering them on every step of the way. Not only were there a variety of ages, but there were also people of all shapes and sizes who completed the race. Some finished with an incredibly fast pace, and others came in just moments before the midnight deadline. At that point, I admiringly watched my brother who steadily cheered them on, even though he was exhausted from finishing his race 7 hours earlier.

Watching Colin and the 3000 or so people who participated in such a difficult event made me think closely about my life and the experiences that I am given and create for myself and my family. These last 10 months Colin has been training his butt off to be able to finish the race that he did this Saturday. If it wasn’t for his persistence in this training, there is no way that I, as his big sister, would have ever been able to watch such a race, and see him finish 5th in his age group (and 125th overall). There are many days when I admire my little brother, but Saturday, he was my hero.

Ever since we were little, Colin and I have always enjoyed our shared experiences together. Whether that be in swimming, traveling, student council, or just family life in general. Although we are 5 years apart in age, we found ways to share our lives. I always say that I wish we were closer in age because that would’ve made us “closer”, but I sometimes wonder if that is true. What we have now, even though we don’t talk everyday on the phone, is something that I would not trade for the world.

And then there was this weekend. Just days after I find out that I am going to be a new mother again, I get to spend time with my little brother whose beautiful wife is due just weeks before my newly adopted child will hopefully be in my arms. We got to spend one more weekend supporting each other as brother and sister, and sharing an incredible experience together, right before we both jump into the world of newborn parents…

You have no idea how thankful I am that we are going to be doing this next act “together” just as we have always done. Our story of babies is the next chapter in our lives as siblings and friends, and hopefully just the beginning of a long book as cousin/uncle/aunt relationship and friendship. Having him as a brother has opened my eyes in so many ways, and given me life experiences I would never have had otherwise.

Thank you Colin, you are an inspiration to so many.

Now, go have that baby!

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