It was a tattoo that got me into the Ironman in the first place.
Shaun did Ironman Louisville in September of 2010 and got a big M•dot logo tattoo on his right forearm soon after. So for the next two years I saw it every time we went out for a run. In the spring of 2012, Shaun was thinking of doing the Chicago Marathon and asked if I had any interest in attempting a marathon again. “Never!” I said. I was signed up for the Triple at the Chicago Triathlon and that seemed like the apex of what I’d ever accomplish athletically. Running was definitely the weakest of the three tri sports for me, and if I wasn’t ever going to do a marathon, then an Ironman was right out.
And then I finished the Triple and two thoughts tumbled around in the endorphin-haze of my brain: I had just accomplished something less than 100 people out of 10,000 triathletes signed up for. And… Shaun and I train together a lot. I was going to have to stare at that g.d. tattoo of the rest of my life and always know that he had done that thing that I had never even attempted.
A short year of really, really hard work later and I was ready for my own tattoo.
A lot of people (most?) who get an Ironman tattoo get it on the back of their calf. It’s a great place to show it off to other athletes but not have it visible in day-to-day life. But I’ve already crossed the visible-tattoo barrier. And I kind of wanted it front and center in my vision as a reminder that I can set big goals and accomplish them. That’s why I decided to have it face me. I’ll have to start high-fiving people with my left hand so that they can see it oriented properly.
It’s such a simple geometric design that I really wanted to make sure it was done nice and cleanly, so I waited this long because I was waiting for availability from someone really good. Jennifer Trok at Speakeasy Custom Tattoo is in demand for her original, custom work but was kind enough to make time for me and execute this design in an awesome way. Also, she’s a delightful person and I highly recommend her as a pleasant companion for a couple hours of pain.