Mark Guin wrote -
I'm slower than a one-armed girl. Here's how I know.
Last August I was swimming laps at the Rose Bowl Aquatic Center near my home, when a flash of red, white, and blue caught and blew past me in the next lane, flipped at the wall, and blasted past me again on the way back. "Pretty sure that was a girl," I thought as I choked on her bow wave.
No biggie, not the first time a girl has passed me in the pool. She was scary fast though, so I wanted to watch her form - something I'll do occasionally to see what I can learn. When I reached the wall I stopped, turned, and ducked under to see more clearly.
It didn't take long. She came blazing back toward me, knifing through the water, perfect body rotation, burly kick....and missing most of her right arm. I gawked at her, stunned and fascinated, until I remembered I needed to bob up and breathe.
I don't know how she lost her arm. But I know she was way faster using just one than I am using two.
Anyway, despite my handicap (speed), I'm racing in the Escape from Alcatraz Triathlon in June and looking forward to some shark infested, cold, hilly, scenic pain - and shiny hardware at the finish line. No doubt I will be passed on the way by many impressive athletes of various configurations. I signed up just for me and just for fun.
But while training for the race, running and riding in the hills at daybreak before work, thoughts of that girl have pursued me: who was she and how did she get so fast? I've thought a lot about her, and others...and real suffering, sacrifice, and accomplishment.
Dawn's early light is as crisply illuminating for waving banners as it is for pondering cyclists, I guess. And my early morning ruminations have led me to this clear conclusion: that I'm a lucky guy, and that my good fortune is founded, at least in part, on the service and sacrifice of better men and women than I. So I want to thank some of them and their families, and with your help, escape Alcatraz for them.
Will you help me? Your donations go to Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund, which is rated A+ by Charity Watch.
Please give what you can, and I'll go as fast as I can.
About the fund: The Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund is a leader in supporting the men and women of the Armed Forces and their families. Begun in 2000 and established as an independent not-for-profit organization in 2003, the Fund has provided close to $150 million in support for the families of military personnel lost in service to our nation, and for severely wounded military personnel and veterans.
Escape from Alcatraz Triathlon: The 2015 Escape from Alcatraz Triathlon features a 1.5-mile swim from Alcatraz Island to the shores of the St. Francis Yacht Club, a hilly18-mile bike ride, and an 8-mile run through the trails of the Golden Gate Recreational Area, including a climb up the infamous Sand Ladder.