Teaching Mom About the Ironman (Again)

Dec 08

While we were in Michigan in October, one day my brother and his wife and kids were planning to come over for dinner, so my mom said she’d come over at about 3 pm to get started on everything.

Naturally, at 10:30 my phone rang.

Me: “Hello?”

Mom: “Hi honey, it’s Mom. Okay if I come over now?”

So of course Mom ended up coming over 4 hours earlier than she initially said. She prepped a bunch of food while Jason and I got some work done in the other room. After a while, the kitchen grew silent. I walked down the hallway and found my mom laying on the couch, staring at the wall.

Me: “Uh, you okay?”

Mom: “Yeah, all done.”

Me: “…you, uh, need anything?”

Mom: “No.”

Me: “You can leave and come back if you want. You don’t have to just sit here with nothing to do.”

Mom: “Is okay! I might take a nap! Mommy tired.”

Me: “Okay…well, Jas and I are gonna go for a run.”

Since Jason was training for the Seattle marathon and I was planning on doing the half, we were trying to get a lot of runs in while we were out of town. We both changed and took off along a nearby trail. For the most part the run went well, but on the way back the weather turned and it got cold and windy and started to rain really hard. By the time we got back to the condo, we were soaking wet and shivering.

I buzzed the condo so Mom could let us in. She opened the door and exclaimed “Oh my gahhh, you soaked!”

Me: “Yeah, it started to rain really hard.”

Mom: “How far you run?”

Me: “About eight miles.”

Mom: “Whaaaaa?! Eight miles! Wowwww, no wonder you butt smaller now!”

Me, laughing: “Thanks.”

We got cleaned up as Mom started to cook. I sat down at the kitchen table.

Me: “We’re losing weight and training for another Ironman. You remember when I did one last year?”

Mom: “Yeah. What’s I-uhrn-race again? You run and bike?”

Me: “You swim 2.4 miles–”

Mom: “Whaaaa?? That far?!”

Me: “Yeah.”

Mom: “What happens you drown?”

Me, confused: “What?”

Mom: “What happens you drown?”

Me: “I don’t–what do you mean?”

Mom: “During race. You drown, then what?”

Me: “Then…you die?” Was she expecting me to be like “Oh, you get a 10 minute time penalty if you drown. Yeah, you don’t want to do that.”

Mom: “Oh my gah.”

Me: “Well, pretty much everyone who signs up for a race like that knows how to swim so they’re not gonna drown.”

Mom, matter-of-factly:I’d drown.”

Me: “Well…” I can’t dispute that.

Mom: “People there to help you?”

Me: “Yeah, there are volunteers and people out on boats and scuba divers to watch the athletes and try to help them if there’s a problem.”

Mom, doubtful: “Okay…”

Me: “So there’s that race in Arizona that you could watch me do.”

Mom: “Where is it again?”

Me: “Tempe. It’s about 20 minutes away from Phoenix. It’s in November, so you and Kurt could fly there and cheer me on.”

Mom: “Next November?”

Me: “No, next year I’m doing the race in Canada again. This would be the year after that. November 2013.”

Mom: “You be too old then!”

Me, laughing: “I’ll be thirty!”

Mom: “That’s too old!”

30’s not old considering professional triathletes aren’t even in their prime until their mid-30s, and considering that an 81-year old nun is still racing. I let it go though–no use in trying to explain to my mom that there are people her age and older competing.

Me: “So you’ll come watch me?”

Mom: “Yeah, we could come watch.”

Success! I think I’ve finally convinced my mom to come watch me race in an Ironman. On the other hand, that means I’ll have to do another Ironman in 2013. Still, having Mom cheer me on would be both hilarious and stressful. I’m gonna need someone on the sidelines to report back to me every funny, harsh, and mean thing my mom says throughout the day.


  1. teresa /

    Gotta love her!!

  2. Hurricane /


    Jason will be by her side the entire day

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *