Jody Genessy: Crossing the finish line made it all worth it for this Ironman

Published: Wednesday, June 29 2011 12:03 a.m. MDT

I also wanted to overcome the cynicism of my doubters — including myself and those who said things like "Seriously, you have no business in this race" — and add another example to Ironman's "Anything is possible" motto.

I wanted to finish strong for Cindi and my other friends from the triathlon world (my club and online). I wanted to validate the faith my incredible buddy and mentor, Steve, has had in me this entire process with near-daily tips and encouragement.

I wanted to run to that finish line and hug and kiss my family, hopefully imprinting a lasting impression on my kids about health and that their dad can overcome odds and accomplish a worthwhile goal while battling obesity. Right before my hilarious hero of a dad passed away at age 57, having struggled with weight and diabetes, he told me, "Don't let this happen to you." I wanted to do this and tell my kids, "Do let this happen to you." My dad gave me a sense of humor; I want to give my children a sense of health.

And, honestly, I just wanted to be done.

It was a long day.

And painful.

And hard.

Times 140.6.

I was so excited to put an exclamation mark on this journey that my final leg was almost my fastest. That final run down Sherman Avenue was so magical it made the misery and months of sacrifice, sweat and tears worth it. I almost cried halfway down the road, but I couldn't stop smiling as hundreds of people cheered me on.

As I finally crossed the finish line, and announcer Mike Reilly tells me I'm an Ironman, I raised my hands triumphantly, pumped my fists and shouted like I'd just won the Super Bowl, NBA Finals and Game 7 of the World Series at the same time.

Heck, for me this was even bigger than all of those combined.

It took longer, too.

Looking back, this Ironman wouldn't have it any other way.

July 21, 2010: I made "The Decision" today and signed up for Ironman Coeur d'Alene! It's crazy, but it's a crazy I'm willing to put myself through. I'm excitedly terrified! It's going to be a hard, uphill battle, but I'm willing to "pay the price," as my wife's uncle Chris says.

Email: jody@desnews.com

twitter: DJJazzyJody

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