A Mother's Love

When used as a noun, the word mother is defined as "a woman in relation to a child or children to whom she has given birth." However, the true impact on our lives is when we use the word mother as a verb. "To bring up a child with care and affection." This past weekend, while cheering on the Junior Elite Male race at the East Coast Triathlon Festivial, I was witness to an emotional 15 minute roller coaster of one mom's affection for her son. 

As most triathlons do, the race started with a swim and then proceeded to the bike course. I was among the Sea of Red cheering on the members of the Endorphin Fitness High Performance Team. The leaders were turning such quick laps we lost count. OK I lost count and thought they were starting lap 4 when it was truly lap 3. After going back and forth with the Sea, a lady next to me spoke up and said "They just started lap three." I joked by proclaiming I trusted her ability to count more so than my own or Tickle's.

She would then start talking to herself out loud cheering her son on without knowing his whereabouts. She nervously whispered, "Come on. Come On." When he came around the bend she erupted into a cheer frenzy for him. Those of you who know me, know I love to cheer for everyone except any team in the National League other than the Cubs. I joined in with the cheering for her son.

After he went by, I asked her where they were from to which I don't remember except it was in New England somewhere. She mentioned she was worried he was going to be lapped out of the race the leaders were moving so quickly. This was his third triathlon and only second draft legal race. In his first attempt at draft legal racing, he was lapped out very quickly.

Always the optimist when it comes to proving what the human body is capable of, I consoled her by telling her "He wasn't going to get lapped out today. He was going to finish this race I can feel it." As the leaders came around to start their last lap we waited for him to make his appearance around the bend. Minutes later, he popped up to the roar of the Sea. Less than a minute later the lead motorcycle came around the corner and there was an acceleration from the lead pack as one rider attacked. I felt her hand grasp my forearm with a firm squeeze. I turned and said "He is going to make."

The mental math game started with her as she was still learning the rules of draft legal racing. I explained to her, as long as he gets back to the entrance of transition without being passed, he was going to be allowed to finish. I reiterated to her confidently, my belief in his ability to hold off the pack. I told her, "He will hear the motorcycle and bury himself to stay in front. I believe it."

We then waited anxiously when we heard the race announcer proclaim the leaders were entering transition. Her son hadn't appeared and she released a loud gasp. Then around the corner he showed up. Digging hard. Burying himself with both the lead motorcycle and the official's motorcycle two seconds behind him. "Did he make it?!? Did he make it!?!" she asked. "HE MADE IT!" I yelled. By the time I turned to see her face, there was already a waterfall of happy tears flowing from her face as she cheered louder than she had cheered before.

You read stories like this and say "Wow that's something special." But to have been a part of it first hand, was something I will never forget. Her "mothering" couldn't have been more apparent. I fought back my own tears and invited her to join us on the run course. She had a runner to cheer on!

My mother has always been a true inspiration and believer in me. Even when I first speak of ways to push my body to new limits. For Mother's Day, I wanted to do something to celebrate all the mothers out there. We have put together a gift basket full of some of my mother's favorite relaxation items for which we will be raffling off at the end of this week. All entrys will receive a #NothingToItButToDoIt tee and one lucky person will win the basket to share with their mother. Your support will also help my mother see her son realize his next dream when he competes in the No Country for Old Men 1000 mile race. You can enter here.