Training for solo Ironman requires army of supporters

I think I could probably write a whole column with just names of people who have been incredibly supportive on this journey. The word “grateful” doesn’t even come close to how genuinely blessed and thankful I am for so many people.

Throughout this training, I’ve had so much time to just think and be inside my head. Some days that’s a good place to be. Other days, it’s no picnic.

Many of my friends in the Seymour Multisport club have witnessed this.

Some days, I love riding hills and a doing a sprint challenge through a certain segment of a ride. Other days, I just want to complain, hang back and draft behind someone.

My coach Greg Reasoner, Elizabeth Eaken and Matt Wheeler have gone along with me on so many rides, and they have been amazingly compassionate.

I should go back and add up the number of miles that we’ve all ridden together since late March, but it would take forever. I’m sure it’s up near at least 1,000.

My mom also has been so supportive of me. I know that she and my dad worry that I’m doing too much or that I’m going to get hurt, but I think that’s just the job of being a parent.

My mom sympathizes with me when I don’t want to run, or she will meet me in the cemetery to jog a mile. She brings me water when I need it in the middle of a long run.

My mom has always been my best friend, and she certainly has stuck right beside me through all of this training.

It’s awesome that my brother also has traveled this journey with me. We have complained to each other, pushed each other, sympathized over terrible workouts and just compared how we are training. I’m so proud of him for training as hard as he is to complete this race.

I think most of all though, my husband, Chris, has been my biggest supporter.

It’s not necessarily in the things that he says. Don’t get me wrong, he’s always the first one to ask how a long workout went or how I’m feeling. He has supported me in so many other ways.

He cooks dinner every night, and not just grilled chicken and a baked potato. He makes so many fancy, healthy, delicious meals so that I can stay on the right track.

Chris cleans up the dishes, helps with the laundry, walks the dogs … the list just goes on and on.

The main thing, though, is that he gives me time. He doesn’t complain about how long my workouts are going to be or that I have to go on another ride, run, etc.

I know that I couldn’t have made it this far without his love, encouragement and support of my dream.

There have been countless others in the community that have given me positive encouragement. Just tonight on a hard tempo run, a gentleman on the street, whom I didn’t know, yelled to me, “Willpower! You can do it!”

There are many other people that I haven’t mentioned who have been right beside me through all of this, and I’m very blessed by all of your backing.

I’m excited to tackle these next three weeks which are the biggest ones of training leading up to Ironman Louisville.

Thank you so much for reading this column and listening to my ramblings and for continuing to follow my journey.

Stacey Parisi is a Seymour native and resident. Her columns appear regularly in The Tribune as she trains to compete in Ironman Louisville 2015. Send comments to [email protected].