Posted by: rustymccain | April 30, 2011

A few words of thanks

We have been thinking about this trip a little over a year now. We have been talking, plotting, researching, buying and re-buying. We had a hilarious “dry run” last weekend that will be the topic of my next post. However, rather than wait til the end of this thing, I need to start with a few thanks.

First I want to thank my wife, Mary Ann. She never hesitated when she first heard of this. She told me to go for it. She has never wavered in her support and has been a constant source of encouragement. I am doing this trip mainly because God has granted me the ability to do so. And, as Emerson said, “The reward of a thing well done is having done it.” But if I were to dedicate it to one person… would be to her.

I want  to thank Lucas. He is my training partner, my friend, and the carrot that hangs out there and makes a Dad want to stay in shape. He is a much better athlete than his sire, but I will take the undeserved credit for passing his cycling genes to him. However,  sports aside,  just in general, he is solid. Thanks to Clint and Amanda. They are the ones who tell me they love me in spite of this crazy stuff and Clint offers me the diversion of golf and great companionship. In addition to that, they bring me great joy by being super parents to the little man…Brayden. I enjoy every minute we get to spend together.  In short, a man couldn’t have better children. (Well, maybe if they told him to retire right now and they would support him, it might be a little better)

You really can’t train for this kind of thing. The training really starts on the first day in San Francisco. But Ray and I have been riding this winter and I have had some great training partners, a few of whom I need to mention. JJ, Rock Star,  John, has become a wonderful friend in addition to a partner. His whole family is special to me.  He is always positive, very bright and has a great sense of humor. Plus, he can spank my butt and make me still like him. I don’t know how that happens. Captain One Speed, Eric has been fun to get to know. He can only ride one speed…all out. It is fun to watch him up front, churning away as if he is in a daze. Then, all of a sudden, it is like a switch turns on in his head and he hears, “Hey, you’re not about to throw up” and he ratchets it up. He makes us all suffer and makes us better riders. Jack Rabbit, David, is a relative newby who has more talent than he currently realizes. I am trying to keep him believing that I can keep up with him, which I occasionally do with trickery and deceit, but he has gotten nothing but better, and is now hard to keep in sight. L’il B, Robert. I have never seen anyone as consistent as he is on a bike. We are going Pacific to Atlantic, but I can see him one day riding across the Atlantic. Yes, I said “across.” I think he is so smooth and consistent that he could actually ride on water. LL Cool J, Jonathan.  I am his Iron Father and he is a great Iron Son to have. He’s got the heart of a Labrador. He just loves life and is so much fun to “play with” .  And he is better than all of us. I appreciate that he still hangs and trains with us. He and Lucas are going to tear up Beach to Battleship. It will be fun to watch them duke it out in an Ironman. The most important thing about all these guys is that they are first-class people. Life is short and there is no need to hang out with people you don’t respect and enjoy. There is a great group of people who ride with Trace Bikes. I probably should thank others and probably will at some point. But these guys have been such a big part of this trip that I really want to say “thanks” to them. They have been there since this idea was hatched, they have been good riding partners and gotten me in tolerable shape, but mostly, they have been good friends.

Of course, I need to thank Ray. But I am not going to. This is going to be so much fun, but it is going to hurt and he made me do it. Actually, if one wrote a history of triathlon in Nashville, Ray’s picture should be on the cover. He started doing Ironman when only a few people knew what it was. For those of us old enough to remember, Ray is a legend. And he is one heck of an athlete who has always been an inspiration to me. That’s why the next post is funny.

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