On a Personal Note – Life Lessons


We have been out of town the past two weekends, and this past weekend we were in Sandusky, Ohio for an event that my husband has been anticipating for months.  He’s been training for a Half-Ironman event.  For those unfamiliar with it, it’s a triathlon event, which includes a 1.2 mile swim, 56 mile bike and a 13.1 mile run.  (Yes, there is a full Ironman event for the truly insane dedicated).

Over the course of the weekend, we all had quite a few life lessons.  Some more difficult than others. 

Some words to live by popped into my mind that I thought I would share.

Do one thing every day that scares you.”  -Eleanor Roosevelt

I think I filled my yearly quota with one terrifying ride on this coaster with my 10 year-old son.  I would have screamed, but it was going so fast (125 mph) that it literally took my breath away.

Cedar Point – Top Thrill Dragster
Source: google.com via Jenny on Pinterest

If that view wasn’t enough for you, here is another.  This is a view from the top.

Source: google.com via Jenny on Pinterest

Prior to our coaster adventure, we caught my husband’s wave at the beginning of the swim.

Of the three events, my husband was most nervous about the swim.  He woke up that morning with an upset stomach, thinking he might be coming down with something (one of my boys had just been diagnosed with strep), but I was hoping it was just nerves.  Otherwise, it was a perfect day – calm waters, good temperature, beautiful day.   You couldn’t ask for more.

While waiting for him to finish the swim, I started taking pictures of some of the finishers, since it was such a great backdrop.

Then I turned around and saw my husband sitting on the shore, with his head in his hands, tears in his eyes.  He didn’t finish the swim.  Turns out, his stomach issues cleared up, and he felt good.  Felt strong.  The swim was going well. 


Halfway through when he turned his head to take a breath, and inhaled a bunch of water in the process.  He had taken in water before, during training, but must have gotten a bunch of it this time. 

He couldn’t get his breathing back.  Tried floating on his back, breast stroke, all of the things they tell you to do. 

None of it worked.  He had to pull out of the race and was brought in with the help of a kayaker.

I was absolutely heartbroken for him.  But, there were a lot of life lessons learned.

“The only real failure in life is the failure to try.” – Sven Goran Eriksson

I like running, but have stayed away from the triathlon because of the swim.  I don’t like the idea of swimming in open water – makes me nervous.  I give my husband kudos for embarking on this journey in the first place.  And it really resonated with my boys.

“Never, never, never give up!” – Winston Churchill
“Failure will never overtake me if my determination to succeed is strong enough.” – Og Mandino

One of my boys said, “One thing about Dad, he doesn’t give up.”  It was really nice for them to see that a temporary setback doesn’t mean that you give up.

Have you stepped out of your comfort zone lately?


  • Reply
    A Vintage Vine
    September 16, 2011 at 1:28 pm

    Jenny that was a beautiful post! I putting the Eleanor R. quote on the refrig!!! Thanks for sharing!

  • Reply
    September 16, 2011 at 2:25 pm

    First off, OMG that roller coaster gives me chills just looking at the pictures. Secondly, your husband is a brave, dedicated guy just to even contemplate entering an Iron man! That alone was a step that most people are too afraid to take. Good for him!

  • Reply
    September 16, 2011 at 6:32 pm

    Jenny, I've only been following for a short time now, but reading this was amazing – nearly brought tears to my eyes. Thank you for posting this and thanks to your husband for letting you share the story. I have a feeling that the next one, he will be braver and stronger and will overcome!

  • Reply
    September 17, 2011 at 11:07 pm

    I'm so sorry he wasn't able to finish, but he did TRY and that's what's impressive.

    When my Mom was sick with cancer, a friend gave me a paperweight with the NEVER NEVER NEVER GIVE UP quote on it. It is such a powerful message.

    I cannot believe you were brave enough to go on that roller coaster. OMG!!! 🙂

    Have a great weekend!

  • Reply
    Lisa @ Shine Your Light
    September 18, 2011 at 9:06 pm

    Wow Jenny!! How awesome for your husband that he trained and competed in that event. For attempting it at all is so inspiring! Congrats to him. He must be in such great shape!! I hope I'm reading about this very topic on your blog next year!

    And that roller coaster – AGH!!! I can't believe you did it!! Dang girl!!
    PS – Love the quotes!

  • Reply
    September 20, 2011 at 12:33 pm

    I am completely impressed that your husband trained so hard for an event like this. Love your quotes, all so true. Your children are blessed to have such great role models in their life. Oh, and there are no words for that roller coaster. I almost fainted just seeing the picture. You are one brave woman!

  • Reply
    September 22, 2011 at 8:56 pm

    I check out your blog from time to time. Interesting story…My husband is doing a full Ironman one month from now and I'll be pretty nervous for him. I know the swim will be challenging (pitch black).

  • Reply
    September 24, 2011 at 6:35 pm

    Those coaster photos made my heart stop for a second, and then the idea of swimming in open water did it again! Those are two big fears of mine. Kudos to your husband for trying. What disappointment he must have felt, but certainly better than if he'd not tried in the first place. Beautiful post!

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