Have Dental Floss, Will Travel

Mapping the world, one waxy strand at a time…

On Fear and Inspiration…

A couple years ago, I read an article about Matt Miller, a Philly-born collegiate swimmer-turned-triathlete, who had been out for a training ride when he was involved in a head-on collision with a sports car.

A year later, I read another article, about the same guy, who was now finishing college, back in the pool, and training for the 2009 Philadelphia Triathlon, his first major race post-accident.

Last week, the Philadelphia Inquirer revisited Matt Miller again.  Miller, I learned, recently competed in the Mexico Ironman (finishing in 10 hours and 30 minutes!), and in the article the writer wove together Miller’s IM experience with the recent death of another Philadelphia athlete, swimmer Fran Crippen.

Growing up a competitive swimmer in the Philadelphia area, swimming on the same club team as the Crippens (though not at the same level!), and now married to someone who teaches at the school that all of the Crippens attended, Fran’s death during a 10k open water race this past October hit pretty close to home for me.

As they do for most people, stories like these – of the Matt Millers who make it and the Fran Crippens who don’t – always strike a chord for me.  They strike a chord of trepidation, at the catastrophic things that can and do happen during training and racing, and they strike a chord of awe, at the physical and emotional resilience that so many people possess.

If you have a few minutes to spare, check out the latest Inquirer article.

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7 responses to “On Fear and Inspiration…

  1. denise December 14, 2010 at 12:23 pm

    i’m so hesitant to click the button and register for my first tri. petrified. i’m not sure i should click the link and read that article…

  2. denise December 14, 2010 at 12:29 pm

    so of course i just clicked the link and read it and i’m crying at my desk!

  3. Johann December 14, 2010 at 12:45 pm

    These type of stories are always inspirational but sad at the same time. They let a few things hit home always.

    If you ever visit South Africa you better let me know!

  4. RunToTheFinish December 14, 2010 at 4:38 pm

    this stuff always blows my mind and makes me wonder if it takes some big tragic thing to get a lot of us to push ourselves farther than we may have thought possible

  5. Kari w/ Jogging with Fiction December 15, 2010 at 8:02 am

    It is incredible what some people can do. It makes you wonder how you would cope in a similar situation, but hopefully never have to find out.

  6. Natalie December 16, 2010 at 7:47 am

    I read this also – so inspiring!

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