Caren Ware's Blog

May 10, 2010

Sharing the long road back…an IRON COUPLE

Filed under: A Runner's Story — Caren Ware @ 6:12 am

I got the priviledge to first work with Beth at a packet pick up for Generic Event’s Xterra Crystal Cove Trail Run.  We were in the back-end of an REI store handing out bibs.  A young man quietly sat hunched in a wheelchair and handed out t-shirts. His head was dramatically scarred. Beth was bubbly and cute.  My 17 year daughter, who possess the same comfort in her own skin, adored her personality instantly.  I did too.  Beth said she was a total Hollywood party girl that finally decided that there had to be a healthier way to live.  So off of a friends suggestion, she started training with Team in Training for a traithlon.  She was matched with a coach who was an avid IRONMAN athlete, a successful chiropractor, and single. The rest became an intensely romantic love story.  She said her coach left messages at all her transitions that lead to his kneeling proposal at the finish line.  What a first Triathlon!!  They were married a year later.

Beth bounced from helping registrants to the wheelchaired man handing out t-shirts and gently kissed him.  “Oh, have I introduced you to my husband.  This is Lawrence.”  Life becomes, stabbingly, all that it does not appear to be.  I couldn’t compute this.  Her eyes lost some color and she added, ‘we have had to deal with head trauma.”  Read about their heart squeezing newly wed year. I didn’t need to read it.  I could see it before my eyes.  I took Lawrence’s limp hands and said, “It’s a pleasure to meet you.  You are an IRONMAN.  And you will always be.  You still are.  I KNOW what it takes to be one and that is still inside you.  You are going to use that drive, that will, that whatever to be able to endure this long long race to recover.”  I did not know what else to say.  I just knew that to respond to him like the pure human he was the best and only thing to do.  I watched as almost all the people who entered and exited that expo didn’t acknowledge him.  I think we don’t know how.  It is so disturbing to visibly see human struggle.  Huge, free-flowing tears rolled down Lawrence’s face.  He didn’t want to be in this wheelchair ,crumpled.  He didn’t want to see his wife have to work so hard.  He was passionate about his sport, his life, his newly wed wife…still.  Let’s get past the shock and reach out and be REAL supports to this IRON couple as they deal with a different race in their lives, one they could have never foreseen or wished upon themselves.  One that we hope we can make a difference in.   Encouraging emails and financial support can be offered through their email:        

Read More here :
LA TIME ARTICLE ON FONG – “Sharing the long road back”

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