The Perfect Moment.
My 52-year-old Dad got into the Kona Ironman World Championships this year in Hawaii and I couldn’t have been prouder of him. He had completed 12 Ironman competitions prior, but this is the hardest Ironman competition in the world, with the toughest competitors from all over the globe competing. For an Ironman and his family, getting into Kona is a huge deal, so of course, I had to be there to watch him.
I booked my flights and signed up to volunteer at the event. I was enrolled as a ‘catcher’, someone who gives the competitor their finishers towel and flower lei as they come over the finish line, then guides them through to the back for food, medical help, etc. In this role, I hoped with everything I had, to be the person that caught my Dad after the biggest race of his life. To have that special ‘once in a lifetime’ moment with him as he crossed the finish line.
Throughout the day of the race, it became apparent that Dad would take longer than usual in the tough Kona conditions, and he wouldn’t make it over the finish line during my catchers shift. Not only that but I didn’t have a phone or internet, and I had no way of tracking him to find out when he would cross the finish line.
During my shift, I found a kind lady who used her iPhone app to track my dad, even though her phone only had 6% battery left. At this point, he was only half way through the 42km run and still had a few hours to go. After this, I didn’t see that lady again. My shift ended and I began running around trying to find complete strangers who might be able to track my Dad’s progress on their iPhones, but no one could help me. I eventually found someone who used the inaccurate Ironman website to find Dad, and it said that he was still only half way through the run! This was hours after I had asked the first lady where he was. I though he must have pulled out of the race, or was sick or injured. I was so worried. Then all of a sudden, I saw the lady who originally gave me the accurate update of where my Dad was on the course, but this time her phone had over 50% battery! I expected her phone to be flat by now. I asked her if she could track Dad and she did. He was less than 1 km from the finish line!
I ran into the backstage area, got to the front just as I heard them announce his name over the loudspeaker. I begged the first lady in the line to give me the flower lei so I could be the one to put it around his neck. As soon as I got to the finish area, he was crossing the finish line. I ran up to him, gave him the flower lei and the biggest hug ever. It was the most perfect moment and one that I’ll never forget! I am so grateful to have been able to share that special moment with him.
Everything lined up perfectly for that exact moment to happen the way it did. Leading up to that day, I imagined the moment in my head, believed it would happen and it did. Earlier that day, I also gave a homeless man a few dollars to help him out and I believe the act of giving contributed to the special moment, too.
Thank you Rhonda and The Secret team for helping me receive that special moment with Dad that I’ll never forget.