At 90 years old, Dr. Aurora Lira, is still winning medals in dance competitions. She and her partner just won a gold medal at the Millennium Dancesport Championships in Orlando, Florida.

90 Year Old Dancer Inspires

A note from my friend, Magno Relojo… A 90 yr old lady who happens to love dancing and dressing up, inspires us with her enthusiasm for learning and memorizing her dance routines. At this age these can be difficult tasks to do but it is so amazing to see her ... Read More
Danielle and Chris Jones of Cincinnati wrote a book about their journey through tragedy and finding joy.

How Their Loss Is Helping Them Do Good

Danielle Jones was working at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center when we first met.  I remember us walking through the hallways, into the waiting rooms, and even further into the patient rooms where young, innocent girls and boys were resting nervously with their families before or after procedures. One thing ... Read More
Be proud of what makes you uniquely different, beautiful and YOU!

Be Proud Of You

Just a reminder... Be proud of what makes you uniquely different, beautiful, and YOU! ~ Lisa Desatnik Read More
Jennifer Okoniewski, a Cincinnati nurse, reflects on the meaning of her job.

A Nurse's Reflection

"Thoughts from my quiet time before work.... Although I don't deal with physical life-threatening issues, I work with mentally life-threatening issues. Being a Psych nurse... Patients here are suicidal, homicidal, schizophrenic, psychotic, bipolar, and so many other illnesses. Just because someone is not physically ill does not mean they are ... Read More
Jenny and Bill McCloy of Cincinnati are philanthropists who give of their time to Melodic Connections, Ken Anderson Alliance, and the Down Syndrome Association of Greater Cincinnati, among other causes. They hope their example inspires others to give back too.

They Hope To Inspire Others To Give

Today I want to introduce you to a couple I got to know through my work on the ReelAbilities Film Festival. Jenny McCloy co-chaired the 2017 ReelAbilities, and the more I get to know about her and her husband, Bill, the more impressed I become. Jenny and Bill were recently ... Read More

Cincinnati World Affairs Council

When I first heard about the Greater Cincinnati World Affairs Council, it brought me back to my earliest experience of learning about people whose cultures are different from my own. (You can read about it here.) What an important cause, now more than ever. As an adult, if you are ... Read More
How cultural diversity and international exchange programs make us better people and a better world.

Cultural Diversity Helps Us Grow

In life, we learn so much from our experiences. They shape and teach us, how to see our world and those who share it with us. When we get to know one other, we break down stereotypes, open communication, bridge understanding and come to appreciate the unique gift each person ... Read More
United Pet Fund, which supports Cincinnati dog rescue organizations and shelters that do dog adoptions, is holding a fundraiser.

United Pet Fund Garage Sale

I remember so well that day when United Pet Fund held its grand opening of its then new 8,500 sq ft Blue Ash Resource Center. In a warehouse building that would come to be stocked with pet food and supplies, dozens of people who shared a common interest in the ... Read More
Tish Hevel founded the Brain Donor Project in memory of her father, Gene Armentrout. The Cincinnati nonprofit organization has registered almost 500 brains for donation from 46 states.

Brain Donor Project Is A Father's Legacy

Gene Armentrout and his daughter, Tish Hevel Gene Armentrout was surrounded by family when his heart beat its last pulse March 10, 2015. He was an avid tennis player, an amateur bridge partner, sometimes golfer and passionate runner for 25+ years. He was the guy running in Eden Park or ... Read More

DJ Brings Out The Happy In People

It is funny that Dona Jean Gatwood, director of community inclusion programs at Living Arrangements for the Developmentally Disabled (LADD, Inc.) told me one of the perks of her job is that it gives her the opportunity to laugh a lot, as, it is because of people like her that ... Read More
How a vacation to Destin, Florida rejuvenated Lisa Desatnik.

The Greatest Rejuvenator Of All Time

When was the last time you were under great pressure to complete deadlines and assignments? How often do you have nights where you lay in bed awake thinking about what is on your plate? When was the last time you took a vacation and really checked out from emails and ... Read More
Mary Ronan, superintendent of Cincinnati Public Schools, and John and Eileen Barrett and Chris Bochenek, were recently honored by the Assistance League of Greater Cincinnati at its annual awards presentation for their commitments to giving back.

Honorees For Giving Back

Mary Ronan, superintendent of Cincinnati Public Schools, and John and Eileen Barrett and Chris Bochenek, were recently honored by the Assistance League of Greater Cincinnati at its annual awards presentation for their commitments to giving back. Mary Ronan Mary was recognized with a National Operation School Bell Award. Operation School ... Read More
Operation Give Back is a Sycamore Township nonprofit organization that supports students living in poverty

Operation Give Back

Children living in poverty, or in need of tutoring or mentoring, are not relegated to certain neighborhoods. They are all around us. They could be our neighbors or someone living down the street. They could be a classmate to your child. Let’s face it, on any given day, any one ... Read More
Varen Noell Rogers was chosen as the cover girl for Cincinnati Family Magazine

Meet A Cincinnati Cover Girl!

Super cool for 5 year old Varen Noell Rogers! Months back I remember her mother, Stacy Sill, telling us her daughter was in the running for the cover model of Cincinnati Family Magazine…and now Varen’s beautiful face is gracing thousands of issues around the region. I asked Stacy to share ... Read More
Northern Kentucky University student Jayren Andrews is a leader and role model.

NKU Student Is A Change Agent

A freshman at Northern Kentucky University, Jayren Andrews has already long established himself as a change agent. Wise beyond his years, he is a young man driven to be a voice, a leader, and a role model for his peers, his neighborhood, his network, and even his world. While attending ... Read More
Lori and Bill Beer have established an endowment fund for the University of Cincinnati Lindner College of Business.

The Beers Give $500,000 To Support UC Students

It’s great to see people in our community, leaders and innovators in their fields, to step up and pave the way for future generations to carry on that legacy. Lori and Bill Beer Lori and Bill Beer are doing just that with the establishment of a $500,000 Beer Family Endowed ... Read More
Led by Suzanne Deyoung of La Soupe and Julie Riney Richardson, Indian Hill High school students prepared over 5,000 quarts of soup made from rescued food.

A Soup Project For Indian Hill Students

Can a village feed a city? Absolutely! And the entire student body at Indian Hill High School has been working with Suzy DeYoung and La Soupe, Julie Richardson, and Sugarcreek (a co-packer) to prove it can happen. Led by Suzanne Deyoung of La Soupe and Julie Riney Richardson, Indian Hill ... Read More
Dan Marshall is a Cincinnati musician, speaker, and business consultant.

Dan Marshall Never Has Bad Days

Dan Marshall will tell you, he does not have bad days. He only has character building days. Seven years ago he stood before a packed auditorium for an Ignite Cincinnati Event, and reminded the young professionals that even when things are going bad, “you are going to learn something from ... Read More
Kathy Smith was executive director of Cincinnati nonprofit Kenzie's Closet, and shares how it helps prom dreams come true for local teens

Kenzie's Closet Is A Dream Maker

It is a dream of most girls, to step out in a gorgeous evening gown, a flower corsage on her wrist and a young man on her side as she enters the darkened space. Her peers crowd the floor, watching her enter in awe. Her smile illuminates the room. But, ... Read More
TT Stern-Enzi

Films Are His Textbook For Teaching

You may have seen TT Stern-Enzi’s film reviews on FOX 19 or in CityBeat. He also writes for the Dayton CityPaper. Several months ago, I had the pleasure of meeting him over coffee. He has such a kind soul about him and when he talks about his passions – films, ... Read More
RJ Mitte and Nic Novicki were among the celebrities who attended the 2017 Cincinnati ReelAbilities Film Festival

Cincinnati ReelAbilities About Appreciation

It has been about three weeks now since I left the Duke Energy Center, exhausted (and sick) from an incredible experience of being part of one of the hardest working teams you will ever meet, all working toward a goal of building something so powerful and important as to positively affect ... Read More

A Volunteer Helping Make Things Happen

One of the many benefits of working on the ReelAbilities Film Festival for me are the incredible people it has given me the opportunity to get to know. I will be sharing some of their stories in my blog. Caren Theuring is most definitely among them. Caren was a tireless ... Read More
Heather Seukamp is a teacher at St. Clement Elementary School in Cincinnati

Life Lessons Taught In Class

Kind, patient teachers who instinctively know how to bring out the best in children are such treasures. They are role models to young minds and their power has the capability of impacting entire journeys through life. Heather Seurkamp is among them. Her aunt, Terri Hogan, introduced us. Heather is a ... Read More
Susan Brownknight, executive director of Cincinnati nonprofit, LADD, talks about the Cincinnati ReelAbilities Film Festival

Cincinnati ReelAbilities Celebrates Difference

These past few weeks (and months) my blog has slowed as I’ve needed to focus much of my energy on promoting the 2017 Cincinnati ReelAbilities Film Festival organized by LADD, Inc. (and a project for the Countryside YMCA and mixing in pet training). The Festival is now a week away, ... Read More
Amy Delgado is a Cincinnati mother to a daughter who has Spina Bifida, and writes a blog called Ability Hacker. She shares what she learned from parenting.

A Mother's Lessons

My work on the Cincinnati ReelAbilities Film Festival organized by LADD, Inc. has connected me with some pretty incredible people in our region. Amy Delgado is one of them. ReelAbilities is about bringing people together to learn from and about each other and to celebrate our differences that together make ... Read More
Rosemary Oglesby-Henry, founder of Rosemary’s Babies, presented an award of appreciation to Dr. James Williams, president of Mt. St. Joseph University, for the school’s support.

Rosemary's Legacy

In all of my years of work for social service agencies, I have seen so many individuals and families affected by generational circumstances. There have been those who were born into environments surrounded by poverty, abuse or other hardships; and who have followed in the path of the generations before ... Read More
The greatest lesson in this world is how to give and receive love.

Happy Valentine's Day!

  I don't know who gets more out of my visits to the Kennedy Heights Montessori Center, me or the kids. Usually I read to the 3 to 6 year olds, but last week we did something different. They each made a personal, hand made Valentine's Day car that ... Read More
Melissa Milinovich is 2005 Ms. Wheelchair Ohio and volunteers for the Cincinnati ReelAbilities Film Festival. In this interview, she shares some of her story.

Melissa Wants You To See Abilities

I have gotten to know Melissa these past few months through my work with the Cincinnati ReelAbilities Film Festival. She is a volunteer whose leadership and passion is greatly furthering the cause of our Festival whose goals are for people to change the way they perceive difference, to break down ... Read More
Jennifer Grimmett is volunteer coordinator for My Furry Valentine, a Cincinnati pet adoption event

My Furry Valentine Led By Passionate Animal Lovers

To organize a MEGA animal adoption event that finds homes for some 800+ animals, it takes a MEGA crew of hard working volunteers to make it happen. That event is the My Furry Valentine, our region’s largest adoption event that finds homes for pets from about 35 different rescue groups. ... Read More
Actor John Lawson shares his story: disability does not define him.

Disability Does Not Define John

Through my work promoting the Cincinnati ReelAbilities Film Festival, I have gotten to know some pretty amazing people who have impacted me in very meaningful ways. Actor John Lawson is among them. I met and got to know John when I was promoting the 2015 Festival. He was a volunteer ... Read More
Quote about life by Nora Roberts

In Life, Just Go For It!

A reminder...let's focus on going for what we want in life.   Read More
Kate Lopez is a volunteer with the Cincinnati ReelAbilities Film Festival. She talks about what having a disability has taught her.

What Disability Taught Kate

I am so fortunate that my work allows me the opportunity to get to know some incredible people who are so passionate about their cause. Kate Lopez is definitely among them. She and I met when I coordinated the marketing/public relations for the 2015 Cincinnati ReelAbilities Film Festival organized by ... Read More
Grace DeGregorio, editor of Cincinnati's Hyde Park Living, shares her story

Grace Shares Life Lessons

Today I have such great pleasure in sharing the story of a very dear person and friend. Grace DeGregorio has been editing Hyde Park Living for 20 years. And, for about 15 or 16 of those years I have been writing a pet behavior column for her. I love that ... Read More
King Records Cincinnati landmark

Saving King Records

I can’t think of a more relevant day to be thinking about a Cincinnati landmark and treasure where some of the greatest music originated, and where civil rights and inclusion was modeled at its best. I hate to admit, when I was first hired to work on the Hidden Treasures ... Read More
quote by Martin Luther King Jr

Honoring Martin Luther King Jr.

Today we celebrate a man of courage, wisdom and vision. In his lifetime, Martin Luther King Jr. devoted himself to bringing people together in harmony. He was about giving people wings to soar above inequality and find their inner strength and passion. He was about giving people eyes to see ... Read More
Amanda Broughton and Michele Hobbs founded Cincinnati pet food company, Pet Wants. They and their customers donated 4000 pounds of pet food to the Stray Animal Adoption Program.

Pet Wants Donates 4000 Pounds Of Food

“Giving is not just about donating. It is about making a difference.”  -  Kathy Calvin, CEO & President of United Nations Foundation That is so true. My friends at Pet Wants, all natural pet food company, truly believe in giving back. I have seen them at adoption events giving food ... Read More
Choose to be happy.

Choose To Be Happy

No special reason. Today, let's make a conscious decision to choose to be happy. Read More
Isabella Noe, a Cincinnati students, talks about kindness

Isabella's Lesson In Kindness

My intern, Isabella Noe, a senior at Walnut Hills High School in Cincinnati is a very special person. It gives her such satisfaction to reach out and help others. Below is her story, in her own words, of how a simple acts of kindness touched her; and how she thinks ... Read More
Elizabeth Truitt is director of public relations for Broadway Cincinnati

Elizabeth's Work Is Her Passion

I can’t remember how Elizabeth Truitt and I first met, but I know this. She has an effervescent smile that lights up a room and having lunch with her can be a ton of fun. Her passion for her work and life is contagious. It is what I enjoy so ... Read More
#kindflash Cincinnati is organizing a hat and coat drive for the homeless

Volunteers Needed For Clothes Drive

It is that time of year again. Liz Wu and others of #KindFlash, a group of Cincinnati area volunteers doing acts of kindness, are organizing their annual clothes drive and they need help. During last year's #Kindflash clothes drive, they collected 3,700+ warm clothing items and distributed them across 51 Greater Cincinnati ... Read More
Mike and Chrissy Boehmer

Thoughts For Living A Fulfilling Life

Tami and Mike Boehmer If you follow my blog, you may recall a few posts written by Tami Boehmer, known to many as a brave and inspirational cancer warrior who took on the disease not only through her own fight but the fight of so many others. She was an ... Read More
Karyl Cunningham is executive director of the YMCA of Greater Cincinnati Black and Latino Achievers Program

Remember Karyl As A True Friend

It had been years since Karyl Cunningham and I had last seen each other. In fact, admittedly we had a hard time remembering where we met, but that didn’t seem to matter. Within in minutes I felt as I was sitting across the table from a very close friend. That ... Read More
Nick Jackson inspires students through his speeches

Nick Champions Lives

Today I wanted to introduce you to someone who has championed the lives of more than 265,000 high school and college students. Nick Jackson commands the stage. When he gets in front of audiences he lifts them to a higher place, gets them excited and inspired. It truly is a ... Read More

This Coach Loves His Work

Written by my Good Things Going Around intern, Isabella Noe, a senior at Walnut Hills High School in Cincinnati   I recently had the pleasure of meeting Coach Mike Holmes.  He first started playing basketball in 1996, and is now in his fourth year of coaching basketball both for Swish ... Read More
Margaret Kastner of Cincinnati learned a lesson of kindness at dinner

How A Dinner Changed Her Life

Margaret Kastner and I met at a meeting of the Cincinnati Blogger Network many months ago, and she has become one of my Good Things Going Around followers. We have kept in touch and talk when we see each other. She has always struck me as someone very easy to ... Read More
Quote: The deepest craving of human nature is the need to be appreciated.

Everyone Likes To Be Appreciated

Just a little reminder, everyone appreciates being appreciated. 'Thank you', 'Great Job', and 'You are important to me' are sentences that can go a long way to brighten someone's day and life. Read More
Heidi Jark is managing director and vice president, The Foundation Office, Fifth Third Bank

Heidi Jark Shares Inspiration

Heidi Jark, senior vice president and managing director of The Foundation Office at Fifth Third Bank, has long been someone I have admired. A 2013 YWCA Career Women of Achievement Honoree, Heidi has learned some mammoth lessons about life and the strength of her will from her own personal experiences. ... Read More
Faith Maynard is program manager of LADD's Community Connections

She Helps Others Achieve Victories

I am so fortunate that my work gives me the opportunity to get know and be inspired by some truly incredible people. Faith Maynard is among them. Faith joined the team of Cincinnati nonprofit organization, LADD, Inc. (Living Arrangements for the Developmentally Disabled) 14 years ago as a direct support ... Read More
Keith Maginn is a Cincinnati author

Cincinnati Author Writes To Inspire

I just recently learned about one of Cincinnati’s hidden treasures…a very talented writer who brings others strength by sharing openly, vividly and passionately his own journey through deeply rooted personal challenges and experiences. Keith Maginn was born and raised here. He moved to Knoxville, Tennessee just after college to work ... Read More

Karen Is A Happiness Officer

It is not often you meet someone with a job title of chief guest happiness officer, so, when you do, you absolutely have to pause and learn more. That someone is Karen Smith, who, after retiring from a successful career at Procter and Gamble, purchased with her husband a breathtaking ... Read More

Gifts Of Kindness

Share

I have been so blessed to have been given opportunities to be inspired by some incredible young people – teens who have come to realize they have the power to affect change, volunteering at homeless shelters, organizing efforts for international epidemics, and helping neighbors in need; students whose resilience to their personal circumstance has given them strength of character and motivated them to succeed; and sons and daughters whose compassion for others grew as an extension from lessons taught by their parents.

Adam Hoover, a 15 year old student at Harrison High School, is one of my inspirations. His story is an example of how it’s not so much our life circumstance that brings out the best in us, it’s our choices about what we do in life – and not despite our circumstance, but because of it.

It was a little over a year ago when his teacher, his role model, his mom – Anna Abdim – lost her job and the income that was supporting them (including three other siblings). But Harrison is a close-knit community where neighbors take care of each other and people gave what they could to help. “It really makes you feel like there’s hope in our society,” Adam told me.

Paying it forward

One day Adam was looking around Craig’s List. He was searching for anything with the word ‘free’ on its price tag but what he was drawn to instead were the stories he found. Stories like that of a woman in Indiana who had used her last check to buy things for her children only to have their entire life collection destroyed in one horrendous night when their home succumbed to ravaging flames.

“It just clicked. There are too many people asking for help and not enough help to give,” Adam said. And so, he and his mom got to thinking. They could make a difference. They could help others just as others helped them.

Their program is called Gifts of Kindness. They collect gently used household items, clothes, toys, and just about anything that would be of value to a family who is in need. They can’t afford to rent a storage facility so their home has become a warehouse, stacks of donations everywhere. To date Adam and Anna have helped about 100 families but that number keeps growing.

Now Adam would like to hold a fund raiser. He has an Elvis impersonator group willing to donate their time but needs to find a facility willing to donate their space. If you a place, he’d love to know.

You can learn more about Gifts of Kindness at their web site http://www.giftsofkindness.yolasite.com

An Important Life Lesson

Share

This is the most beautiful video. I had to share it. What a wonderful lesson about appreciating and valuing each others’ unique talents. Think about all that we can accomplish and all that we can be if we stop judging people and animals by what they are not or what we want them to be, and instead help them to discover all they are capable of being and contributing. The world is a better place because of each others’ diversity and gifts.

Junior League Of Cincinnati Celebrates 90 Years Of Service

Share

The Junior League of Cincinnati recently celebrated 90 years of ‘Going to Great Lengths for our Community’ with a beautiful luncheon at the Westin Hotel. What a tremendous milestone for a volunteer organization of women whose sole purpose is education and charity.

Through the years I’ve known a number of colleagues and friends who have been involved with the Junior League. I’ve also known many of the organizations who their generosity has impacted. Most people probably don’t realize the Junior League developed ProKids, the Cincinnati Art Museum Docent Program, and the Children’s Theater and Choral Group.

Recently the group over 80 new pajamas to help keeps kids at ProKids and the YWCA Battered Women’s Shelter warm. These first two weeks of December, Junior League members are participating in a number of holiday projects including providing dinner for 30 people and decorating cookies for children at the Bethany House; and making holiday crafts and treats at Our Daily Bread. Then in January, they’ll start the year with a fleece blanket project for the Ronald McDonald House.
For more information please visit http://www.jlcincinnati.org/.

Thank you to all of the volunteers at the Junior League of Cincinnati for all that you do to spread kindness and improve lives.

David Martorano – You’re An Ironman!

Share

There are times in life when words just seem so insufficient. For David Martorano, this was one of the times.

At 8:00 p.m. on September 13, 2009 in Madison, Wisconsin David had nothing to say but he had everything to say. In that instant, it was his scream that spoke what words could not express. His arms that for the last 13 hours pulled and swung and balanced his lean body mass across
land and engulfed in water spontaneously rose above his head in triumph when he crossed the banner that said ‘FINISH’. Moments later he was in the arms of his wife.

This is what a man does after pushing himself beyond his capacity against the will of some 3000 other elite athletes – all comrades in a battle of a lifetime, giving all that he has to give and finally, FINALLY, realizing a personal goal that for the last 25 years of his life was just a dream.

“Pure elation,” David said to me. “To this day, I can still feel it.”

It was actually a twist of faith that made this conclusion even more special. You see, a year ago supporting him through all that goes into training for one of these things was his 40th birthday present from his wife (and his family including 4 children). They became team Martorano, changing their pantry to all ‘healthy’ foods, getting dad to bed by 8 p.m. even on weekends, and giving dad that boost when the 4 a.m. buzzer goes off and he didn’t feel like working out.

David looked to them for inspiration. They were his rock. On the really, really tough days,
there was one thought that always moved him to action. His normally energetic voice softened. “I would think of Nathan and Michael and how hard they have it,” he told me. “They don’t get to take a day off and so I couldn’t either.”

Nathan, 14, and Michael, 3, are David and Viki’s oldest and youngest sons. They both have autism.

The dream that almost wasn’t fulfilled.

It was a Saturday morning – one week before his 40th birthday – and David was ramping up his training. The big race was just six weeks away. He and a buddy had already finished their swim in the Houston Woods Lake. They were in hour two on their carbon-framed bicycles, manufactured to be light enough to hold with one hand yet strong enough to withstand the stress of human pressure on road disparities and imperfections.

But the bikes were not meant to withstand one thing. Without warning, a pick-up truck traveling 60 mph pummeled into them from behind and all that stood between the cyclists and the pavement was their helmets. David stares into blank space when he talks about it, wondering out loud why they were chosen to be spared when another mother in another moment lost her son.

The recovery was long, but not too long. After all this is David we’re talking about. Working at the YMCA, he had everything he needed to begin the journey all over again. In the meanwhile he happened to read about a program called Train4Autism that gives people tools to raise money for local work surrounding the disorder. David had a new inspiration.

Another thing you may not know about David is that as the district vice president for the YMCA of Greater Cincinnati overseeing the Clippard Family branch, he, his wife, and staff have started an effort to offer support for families like the Martoranos.

Once a month families of children who have autism are invited to David’s YMCA for free nights where siblings and parents can participate in recreational activities or simply visit with one another. On average more than 200 families attend. Under David’s leadership this year, the Clippard Family YMCA also was approved by the Ohio Department of Education as a private provider for the Autism Scholarship Program – making it one of the area’s few preschools providing students with all of the therapy and other services that are written into their Independent Education Plan (IEP). As part of its expanded all day inclusive preschool, his YMCA branch also operates an Applied Behavioral Analysis (ABA) Learning Center for kids who have autism.

“I know firsthand the challenges faced by families like ours. Most insurance companies don’t cover costs of early intervention and some children require intensive therapy that many families can’t afford,” David said. (pictured at right with his son, Michael)

You can probably guess for whom David set out to raise money. This was the beginning of the letter I received: Please join me in my journey to participate in the Ironman Triathlon on Sunday, September 13, 2009 – Swimming 2.4 miles – Biking 112 miles – Running 26.2 miles while raising awareness about autism and the autism inclusion programs at the YMCA of Greater Cincinnati.

And so, team Martorano was back in training. This time David was leaner and in the best shape of his life. He wasn’t about to waste this second opportunity, and I’m not just talking about the Ironman.

The time had finally come.

It was 6:00 a.m. when David and Viki left their house for Wisconsin, way too early to get the kids up. Their good-byes were said the night before. But as the car was pulling out, the front door opened. It was Nathan. He had some final words he needed to say. “Dad, you have to persevere,” Nathan told his father. It’s pretty hard to describe how words like those affect a man like Dave but I bet you can guess.

On September 13 at 7:00 a.m. David was ready. There he was amidst a sea of competitors. When the gun went off they swam like a huge school of sardines, powering through every stroke two loops around Lake Monona. Then, with only their bare feet, they ran up a three story ramp for a quick change before hopping onto their awaiting bike. David described those first 20 miles as a warm up to the next 40 miles of rugged hills and wind desperately trying to push them backwards. By mile 56 he was still very much in control.

Then the final 19 miles awaited, and ‘it was all into the wind’. “At this point you just want to get off it and get running – after all you’ve been on the bike for over 5 hours,” David said.

In any other race, David would have been ready to call it a day, but this was an Ironman. He still had an entire marathon to do. By mile nine, he said, ‘the doubt, the internal talking really picked up, the demons, can I do this?”

It was about mile 12 when his right calf and hamstring cramped, causing him to nearly tumble to the concrete street. Only the most prepared athlete, someone with team Martorano behind them, would have thought to carry a pair of compression socks for just this situation. A quick stop with help from a race volunteer and David was back on his way…still with half the distance left to go.

They say in Ironman that the marathon is 20 miles of hope and six miles of reality. That reality struck David right in the face. The finish now in his mind, David looked up and saw it. There, along the side of the course where supporters could post messages of inspiration, David read, ‘dad, you have to persevere.’

Nothing, and I mean nothing, was going to get in David’s way now. The crowds grew electric in that final mile. “David Martorano – you’re an Ironman,” were the sounds echoing around him. Then he did it, he crossed that finish line.

Yes David, you are an Ironman. And Nathan is extremely proud.

<img

Follow on Bloglovin

Don't miss hearing about Good Things! Register to receive my enewsletters.

* indicates required

Archives