BENEFITING: Nashville Dolphins
ORGANIZER: THE IRONMAN FOUNDATION
My story starts with a “bug” that I caught last year…the triathlon bug. There is no antibiotic for this condition and frankly, I do not intend to find a cure. Simply, I am just a dude that decided to give triathlons a shot. How hard can they be for a former Army guy anyway, right? (Verdict is still out)
Rewind a few decades and you would see that I have always been an active person starting from childhood through my career in the Army. While I pushed my body in physically challenging extremes, I also counter acted all the hard work with even harder play. After years of doing this and completing my commitment to the service, I came to a screeching halt on physical fitness and challenging myself.
After sitting relatively uncomfortably in this place, I was introduced to triathlons by a co-worker and something intrigued me to them. I competed in my first triathlon 30 days later. (Keep in mind, I had not even ran a mile in years and I was not even close to being a competitive swimmer.)
Along the way, while learning more about triathlons, I have had the privilege to haphazardly learn about the Nashville Dolphins. They are a year round swim club that provides lessons, training, competition, social activities, and travel at no cost to those with disabilities.
Learning about them is one thing, but getting the honor to swim with them is indescribable. The athletes that make up the Nashville Dolphins humble me.
When training for the Ironman, it is suggested that an athlete train around 20 hours a week. As I try to figure the logistics of that on a weekly basis, I consider all the excusses for not being able to push myself for the most challenging, one-day endurance race on the planet...work, family, I just want to sit on the couch, etc. Then, I think about the Nashville Dolphins and the athletes that participate in the Special Olympics. Not one of these participants has ever used some excuse to not just simply show up and try. Here I am, a person with no disabilities and a surplus of excuses compared to the athletes with disabilities and no consideration of using any excuses. (It is amazing how fast I can get on my bike after I remember this.)
Therefore, as you can see, I am passionate about triathlons and about the Dolphins so it was obvious that I participate in an Ironman race (2.4 miles swim, 112 mile bike ride and 26.2 mile run) to raise funds for the Nashville Dolphins.
I have set a goal of $10,000 to raise for the Dolphins to help fund some of their basic needs for additional equipment, travel expenses, and hopefully one day, their own training facility. I can assure you these athletes could use so much more.
Please take the time to read about some of the athletes on the Dolphins swim team (below) and you can learn more by visiting their web site http://www.nashvilledolphins.org
Thanks in advance for your support in whatever form you can offer and of the amazing athletes that are part of the Nashville Dolphins.
No excuses, I am off to train…see you at the finish line.
So many great things going on with the Dolphins and the athletes associated with them. Recently Vanderbilt University women’s basketball team Commodores, chose to highlight the Nashville Dolphins as a non-profit to support for the year.
Dolphin Swimmer Greyson Findley was recently accepted into Western Kentucky University and the Kelly Autism program.
Dolphin swimmer Josh Putman has been recognized by the Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame as an individual in sports who displays the heart of a champion.
“On behalf of my sons, Alex and Zach, and myself, we'd like to say thank you for your support of the Dolphins! You see, we moved here about 6 months ago, from a tiny, rural town, in south Alabama. There were zero opportunities for Zach, who is now 14. When we learned about the Dolphins, it was such a dream come true!! He LOVES the water, and this has opened up a whole new world of possibilities for him... As a single Mom, and recent cancer survivor, I could never afford this without your generous support- the three of us thank you, so much! God Bless you and your family...” - Michele, Alex, & Zachary
“My name is Heather. My sons name is Jacob he was born with a hearing loss hypotonia and all around developmental delay. He is nine years old and he loves water. He has no verbal communication skills at this point and my hubby and I do not think he understands the danger of water. My son really needs to learn how to swim. However, we are so strapped with finances from all the medical bills he adopts we never thought we would be able to get him the classes he needed to learn how to swim so he would not wander off find water and drown. I was told that there was somewhere he could get classes free for special needs kids. I searched the internet and found the Dolphins. When I was able to get him in classes, I was thrilled. My son gets go excited to go swimming and he has really enjoyed the classes. We would like to continue enrolling him in them until he learns to swim. No one will ever know how important these classes are to a family like ours. We appreciate all you do to get donations so my son and other children can benefit from this wonderful program. - Heather