Revelations and Aftershock

Monday’s Austin Triathlon impacted me in a lot of ways, but the aftershocks that I felt for the rest of the week were the strongest of all.  Everything that I thought about and wrote about on Monday concentrated around competing as a triathlete. Out of 160 people in my 35-39 age group, I was 6th in the swim, and 29th overall.  I dropped 14+ minutes off my time from last year, even with a crash during the bike course. In an Olympic distance, I had never broken into the top half, much less being in the top 20%. Unlike my insanely competitive wife (whose competitive spirit I love dearly until it makes our Wii contests turn into wrestling matches), I’ve never really cared who I beat or if I won, but just how I did relative to my goals. And Monday I was proud of the results of my training.

And then Tuesday, I was driving home, and it hit me. All during Monday, the thought of “I did really well for a transplant recipient” never entered my mind. For the first time, I had thought of myself as

a competitive triathlete

not as

a transplant recipient who does triathlons

It may seem like a small difference, but it overwhelmed me with emotion, a strange rush of happiness and overflowing gratitude to all the people who have made this miracle possible, and even brought tears to my eyes.

Six years ago, I wondered if I could ever be an athlete again. And now I’m wondering how much faster I can run.  This thought and feeling hit me over and over again this week. Driving home from swim practice this morning, after knocking down a lot of yardage in the pool, those same thoughts hit me. This started as a way to just prove that I’m healthy, and now most people who meet me through the sport think of me as a competitive athlete, not a transplant recipient who is trying to finish.

I’m still a transplant recipient who does triathlons, and incredibly proud of that identity.  But the fact that I could just be a triathlete for a day highlights the miracle of the gift I received.

A lot of people tell me how amazed they are with what I’ve done.  I really haven’t done anything.  Everything that made this possible happened over five years ago in a hospital surgery wing, where my cousin gave me a second chance at life. I had no idea I’d get so much more than just a second chance.

Super Cool Kidney Transplant News

I couldn’t help but share the following links I’ve seen over the last couple of months:

Save Money, Save the Planet

One of my favorite people in the world just launch Blissmo, a Groupon-like service where the products are sustainable.  While I do scan a daily email I get for good deals on stuff I like, it seems like most of the food offerings move me closer to a coronary than better health.  If you’re at all into organic food, sustainable products, green companies, then check them out.

http://www.blissmo.com/join/

Yes, this is still Bryan writing this blog.  While many people would guess that I’d be more likely to be a member of the NRA than the Sierra Club (which, if forced to choose… well…), I am a big fan of recycling.  And in general we shouldn’t be stupid with natural resources.  So check out Blissmo!

2 thoughts on “Revelations and Aftershock

  1. you express very well what I think, too. I don’t want to be a heart patient, just a regular person. though I can’t ever compete with you, your thoughts are so eloquent, they bring tears to my eyes, too. i’m very proud of you, for lots of reasons.

  2. I agree w/ Norma. I started crying when you wrote about being a triathlete & not a transplant recipient who is a triathlete. We are blessed that you are part of our lives. I am glad SPL has you as his Uncle Bryan 🙂

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