In the beginning there was Bob Babbitt

Last weekend I wrote about being tired of training. In a sense I hit another brick wall after my last brick practice. Running after riding is more difficult than I imagined.

Then last Wednesday I met Scout Basset, a physically challenged athlete who experienced the worst of life during her first seven years. After hearing her story I realized there’s nothing to complain about.

Plus, before she spoke I heard Bob Babbitt speak. He’s the Editor of Competitor Magazine, finisher of the third Ironman and founder of the Challenged Athletes Foundation.

Bob Babbitt, publisher of the Competitor magazine Wish I had record Bob’s speech; he’s so funny. There were 100 participants in the third Ironman. A storm hit Kona during that race, moving the swimming portion to a channel. Bob wasn’t comfortable with deep water swimming, so he swam in the shallow side of the channel. Then another athlete passed him. On the surface, the athlete was swimming freestyle, but underwater Bob saw he was walking, making that person the only Ironman athlete to get blisters on his feet while swimming.

Bob also talked about using a bike with a raccoon-skin seat cover, getting a 45 minute massage between the cycling and running (that’s sounds good), and gaining 5 pounds because his only nutritional source was Hawaiian bread. He thought the race was a two-day event — swimming & cycling first, camping out and running back the next day. So, to keep him company he carried a radio on the bike (can you imagine!). Best of all, when approaching the finish line he visualized groups of cheering people. Instead he saw a light and a line drawn on the ground. As he ran over the line someone in the darkness said, “Hey are you part of the race?”
— Yes.
“You’re done.”

His stories made me realize that there’s no need to be so serious & stressed. If Bob can finish the Ironman, I’ll do just fine.

1 thought on “In the beginning there was Bob Babbitt