Scott had been preparing for October 21, 2018 in more ways than one.
For four months he trained for the Challenged Athletes Foundation (CAF) San Diego Triathlon by traveling to the ocean and YMCA regularly to swim, meeting with his tandem pilot for cycling, and running on the treadmill at home. He even cut out Dr. Pepper the final month leading up the triathlon. Trust me, that’s commitment.
According to the CAF website, their mission is to “provide opportunities and support to people with physical challenges, so they can pursue active lifestyles through physical fitness and competitive athletics.”
The San Diego triathlon is their biggest event of the year and it was so fun to attend as a spectator. To reach the beach for the swimming event the athletes had to travel down a long set up steps, and many people needed assistance and were carried. It was heartwarming to see all the volunteers and people helping to make sure everyone was able to reach the beach to participate. Scott completed the 1-mile swim and was able to keep his orientation by swimming next to his pilot.
The swimming event went by pretty quickly compared to the bike ride and run. It was also the most crowded because all the spectators could watch the athletes the entire time compared to when they were out riding and running around the town.
The second part of the triathlon was a 44-mile bike ride. Scott rode on a tandem bike with a pilot who led the way. Many other visually impaired athletes from the Blind Stoker’s Club that Scott is a member of participated in this part of the event too.
Aly, my mom, and Scott’s mom passed the time waiting for Scott by eating breakfast, watching the seals, and cheering on other participants. In between each event we would cheer Scott on, watch him transition to the next part of the race, and then take off again. It was a lot of waiting around for five minutes of excitement and then back to waiting again.
The final challenge of the day was a 5-mile run. Scott ran with his guide at his side but used his long cane to run independently.
I had no idea that he had also been preparing to propose that day. He and Aly had been looking online and at some local jewelry stores for a ring, and he was sending pictures to my mom to get her opinion. Only he and Aly knew it was going to happen this day so it was a surprise for my mom too.
After Scott crossed the finished line we all hugged him and we were asking how he felt. It was only a minute or two later that he stood in front of me and started to get down on his knee. I thought he was going to start stretching because he said, “this is harder than I thought it was going to be” referring to his achy muscles! Once he was on his knee he grabbed my hands and told me how much he loved me and then asked me to marry him. Everything around us faded away and of course I said YES!
He didn’t have a ring because it turned out that my mom had been saving an engagement ring and a wedding band from almost thirty years ago that she gifted us to use. This turned out to work perfectly because Scott was off the hook for guessing what I would like.
It was an exciting enough day that Scott completed a triathlon, and then add being proposed to at the finish line was a very *pinch me, is this real?* experience in life.
Thank you to Aly our personal photographer for taking all the photos!