You Did Good, Papa. I Got a Chipper Sandwich, See?

by klassman

I went to Idaho last weekend.  Like previous Ironman experiences, it was big and grand and memorable.  I was fit.  I was ready.  I was excited.  The race didn’t turn out how I wanted.  There were good aspects, but mostly, I bombed out.

After traveling all day and night Monday and then working on Tuesday, I rode straight to the tribe’s diving meet after work.  I was behind schedule and as it turned out, arrived too late.  It stung.  It was a totally avoidable mistake.

The pool sits atop a hill.  It is an eighth of a mile and about a seven percent grade to get up the hill.  I churned with all that I had to drag my aching body and my commuter bike up that hill.  At the top, I rode straight to the fence, peered through and saw that there were teenagers diving already.  I was too late.  And, I was dizzy so I layed down right there in the driveway.

I’m not sure how long I sprawled on the asphalt.  I was disappointed and sweaty and mad and, I was dizzy.  Tobias came out.  He played with my helmet and the blinky light.  Then he announced, “You did good, Papa.”

There was a pause.  I asked what he meant.  I had missed his dives.  I had barely gotten around the second loop of the run in Coeur d’Alene.  He held the pause.  Finally I opened my eyes and he held up his ice cream treat.  “I got a chipper sandwich, see?  And, you did good.  We saw you do a summersault at the end.  Mama laughed.  It was funny.”

It was worth it.  Every painful step.