At 7am on November 15th, 2010 I kissed my wife good bye and I literally put life in the hands of someone else. It was truly the first time in my life I had reflected on my journey with honesty. Today marks the 1 yr anniversary of my heart surgery or as my wife likes to say the day I become "bionic" with my new St Jude mechanical mitral valve. This has truly been the most difficult yet rewarding year of my life. I've learned to appreciate all the blessing in my life. I reconnected and opened my heart to my faith in god. I have spent endless hours sole searching and trying to remain positive enlight of some dark days. I'm so fortunate to come through surgery and regain my zest for life. As those close to me know I'm passionate about family, friends, healthy living, challenging myself through endurance sports and helping others.
Words can't begin to express how I feel about these two special people is my life. My wife Trisin is my rock and she always sees the glass half full, supports me in all do and lifts me when fall. She's an amazing mother and friend. Everyone that knows Tristin is fortunate to be blessed by her spirit and compassion for helping/giving to others. My son Reece is so full of life and continues to make me a better person. He was so young he didn't really understand all I was going through, yet he was always there to help provide the that full of life spirit I needed when I was recovering from heart surgery.
Team Blaze Spokane Triathlon Club which Tristin and I started in 2004 is an amazing extended family. I'm truly grateful to all of you that came to see me in the hospital, sent me positive messages, called and inspired me to start living again through contagious spirit within the club. This group has now blossomed to 180 members of all ages and ability levels. I feel blessed to be able to coach and share my gifts with such a fun group of people that support and encourage each other.
I also feel so fortunate to have connected with Ironheart Racing Team and meeting David Watkins who is an amazing guy that has so much energy and passion for life that it's contagious! Ironheart Racing Team has now grown to over 150 members throughout the world. This group does amazing things to raise awareness about heart health, supports several charities and provides free heart screenings for high school students. This next year several of these athletes including myself are planning to race Ironman Arizona in November of 2012 as we continue to raise awareness and inspire others to live life to the fullest! I encourage others to check out this awesome group. http://www.ironheartracing.com/ and http://www.ironheartinspire.com/.
Team Blaze Ironman CDA 2011 group provided me with truly a once in a lifetime experience. I was 4.5 months post heart surgery and coaching most of the 31 members participating in IM CDA when I went Hawaii for a week on a "trication" with other Team Blaze members and upon my return to Spokane I decide to sign up for IM CDA. It was crazy idea, but hey you only live once. I only had 6.5 weeks to train, which is less than ideal, yet I was super motivated and inspired by all these amazing people.
IM CDA race morning! I can't remember how many people ask me on race morning if I actually going to participate. Yes, although after that frigid swim I had my doubts, Wow, it was cold!
I felt I had good plan for the day and it wasn't about me. It was about supporting and encouraging these amazing people that had supported and inspired me, although some of them didn't realize all they had done to encourage me to start living again.
My IM CDA race day pacer! Norma is an amazing lady that I've had the pleasure to coach over the last 5 yrs. She has made amazing improvement as she's a model of consistency and become a good friend! IM CDA was a special experience as it was something we did together and finished the journey! I was so impressed by the determination that all the Team Blaze athletes displayed as all 32 athletes that started finished!
These picture above represent another milestone for me which involved racing my first triathlon since heart surgery which was a sprint triathlon in Chelan. This was fun weekend with multiple races and camping other club members. It was fun to race again and watch Reece do another kids triathlon!
Annual trip to Green Bluff to get some pumpkins! We ended up with a 35 lb monster pumpkin!
Roy family Halloween photo! We always enjoy dressing up and the Monster Dash kids run provided a great opportunity to have some fun.
Reecer is now 6 yrs old and thriving in Kindergarten! He continues to keep me young as he's full of life!