The Luckiest

There was a moment on Saturday at Tri Dunkirk…. when I sat back and looked around. The race was all set to go. Kelly and I were in the announcer tent, Melissa and her crew were smiling as athletes picked up their packets, Jeff, Rich., Hoad….. everyone was taking care of business. The kind of business that happens race morning.

The Score-This Team is a well oiled machine. We just know how to work together. Kara can talk in one of my ears while I am announcing, Rich can signal me and I know exactly what they need me to say. Jeff so seamlessly takes care of his part, Kevin his……so many that I forget to mention become like pieces in a small puzzle.

“Here comes the voice of Score-This.” A man said to me as I made a run for the port-a-john (race announcers need to take that opportunity when it comes).  Honestly, it brought tears to my eyes, that was one of the greatest compliments I have ever received. “You guys all have an amazing rapport.” Someone else said a moment later. Again, compliment.

We do have an amazing rapport. I can let the crowd in on that because I am the girl on the mic and I will say things to the team they can’t hear the answer to. (One man said it’s like when Rush Limbaugh speaks to Snerdl.

Those compliments mean a lot to not only me, but to our team. The Score-This team … we aren’t the way we are because of today…..  this crew has been friends for ten years. We didn’t meet on Facebook….. goodness I don’t even remember when we met. There is a very beautiful deep history between all of us.

I keep meaning to take pictures of grab some video of the behind the scenes action when announcing, we are either too busy working or laughing….. it’s a whole lot of both. Finger Lakes Triathlon…. I will do that.

Tri Dunkirk is a race you want to have on your schedule. This venue is one of the best I have ever been to. The neighbors who live alongside the lake came out…. and thanked us. Thanked us for coming to their town, no problem that the music and mic were on at 5am, it sounded great (WHAT?). They couldn’t have been more gracious to us. I got to meet the mayor….. he was more than delighted to have us there.

This race is going to absolutely explode.

My favorite finisher of the day…. the last one. Most of the competitors had packed up and gone home but we were there. To us the last finisher is almost more important than the first. They are out there twice as long, they cover the same distance. Often the story they share is more powerful than those who finished hours before.

Triathlon is a celebration of life…. and we celebrate everyone’s.

As he came around the bend to the finisher’s chute Rich and crew began to run him in. We turned up the music as loud as it would go and we brought him home. It was a tear jerker moment. It was beautiful.

We are so lucky that we get to be able to do this. I think Rich and I say that to each other and to this team a few hundred times a race.

As I was announcing I saw a uniform that I see at many races, the Team Ballou Skies uniform. I have known Beth, Chad, and Kim….. gezz I don’t know how we all met but I knew them long before Ballou Skies was formed. This cause is one that’s incredibly near and dear to my heart and I will explain why in the future……

But when I see Ballou Skies I give it proper attention because it’s a cause that deserves it. I realize that with this blog, as a race announcer and as a writer for Xtri I have a platform. That platform allows me to bring attention to wonderful people and wonderful causes such as Ballou Skies. Look for an Xtri interview with this team very soon.

yesterday I met Jeremy and Jocelyn, from Ballou Skies and what struck me about them….. is that they possess the same exact qualities that Beth, Chad, and Kim do. Humility, hard work…… and racing for Ballou skies has helped them I think…… understand that they are working for a larger cause. One much more important than swim bike and run. I believe it’s helped them put their sport into perspective….. it makes them work harder because Ryan…. can’t. They do it for him. They do it because they also have a platform to raise money and awareness for something that he never asked for, and is fighting like hell to do something about.

Thank you guys…. for fighting for him.

During my drive home yesterday I thought about how lucky I am….. that I get to be able to do what I do. Disclaimer: none of was handed to me. I worked incredibly hard and failed many times….. which is why I appreciate it so much. It’s also why I will always do the right thing with the opportunities I have been given. I have many platforms to use for good things, and I will always use those platforms to do what I believe to be honorable things.

There is a reason I interview the athletes I interview. There is a reason I support the causes I support. There is a reason I shed light on the people I shed light on. They are people and causes who strike a chord with me, who touch my heart in some way, who I believe can offer this world something really positive and really beautiful. It’s beyond who is the fastest, it is beyond who is the top dog……

In fact…… if you gave me the choice to interview these three people…. and these are three people who are inspiring, humble, amazing, and who believe the world is bigger than they are…… if you put these three in front of me…… to meet in person and interview……

December 2020