So, scratch that last part in my IM 70.3 Lubbock story
I need to re-write that ending.
I am going to the IRONMAN World Championships in Kona, Hawaii.
THE. Big. Dance.
You read that right. Here’s what happened:
There was a little bit of confusion at the awards ceremony in Lubbock where it was stated there are 2 Kona spots for the Handcycle Division. Officially, there is one for the men and one for the women. But historically if there are no women, the spot is given to the men.
The confusion came when they didn’t give that women’s slot to the men this year. Eventually it got cleared up.
Now, we all know I came in 3rd. Here’s what happened:
The 2nd place finisher decided he didn’t want to go and instead stuck with his IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship spot.
When that happens with IRONMAN World Championship spots, the spot ‘rolls down’ to the next finisher.
And in this case, that’s me.
This is it, my people. My big hairy audacious goal is happening.
I get a shiver through my entire body – including the half I cannot feel – when I think about it.
You don’t have to be amazing to start,– Toyota Commercial
but you have to start to be amazing.
While training this weekend, I’ve been watching the Olympics .. and it’s commercials.
There is a Toyota commercial featuring many Olympic and Paralympic Athletes encouraging us to #startyourimpossible because #itcouldbeyou
When I started this journey, I knew I wasn’t going to ‘win’ many races.
I’m just not that amazing.
But I believed there was a path for me to possibly qualify for the Handcycle Division at Kona because the number of competitors varies greatly year to year. My only real challenge was to beat the cut off times on the course.
So I set a goal to cross the finish line at the IRONMAN World Championships in Kona, Hawaii.
The 1st time I tried qualifying in Lubbock, I had to pull out of the race after the swim and bike.
The 2nd time, I actually qualified but my coach and I agreed I wasn’t strong enough yet.
The 3rd time – this year – well … 3rd time’s a charm now isn’t it?
My silver lining to the pandemic is that I had no other options but to stay home and train. I kept my head down and I trained the best Rob Balucas could – quarantine be damned.
I laid down the best race Rob Balucas was capable of.
I didn’t have to be amazing to start.
And neither do you. What seems so big and seems like it has so many obstacles for you to start?
It’s been hard. Make no mistake. I’ve sacrificed a lot of time and focus I might have put in my business and grown it more. I’ve swallowed my pride and asked people to contribute to my race fund. I’ve inherently asked Erika to make the same commitment and sacrifice. I’ve questioned this commitment with regular frequency, doubting this door may never open.
But I set a goal. And I want to be someone who does what they say they’re going to do.
You all have gotten me this far. You’ve supported this crazy journey at every juncture. Thank you, #teambalucas.
On October 9th, we get our chance to finish it.
More training ensues.
And once again, I need support.
But as in prior years, the financial demands are high. I just recently found that my race chair wheels are cracked and bent and need replacement. Those alone are $3,000. And not to mention replacing that stupid paddle and compensator that failed in Lubbock. Then there’s travel, monster entry fees, and so on.
I’ve created a crowdfund again, using PayPal and Venmo, instead of going through the crowdfunding websites that charge in excess of 8% of the funds raised. After all, website design is what I do for a living.
I am also looking for sponsorships, so if you have a business that would benefit from the press and/or would like an inspirational talk – or know of any, please let me know!
How else do I say, ‘I can’t do it without you?’ I hate this process. But it works. And every time this tribe says, ‘It’s okay. We want to support you.’ So here I am again and hopefully the last time.
Can we do this?