Bob was an athlete before for many wonderful reasons, but none more important than his reasoning now. He runs, bikes, swims and competes against himself for children with congenital heart defects. He does it for the little ones who were taken too young by their defect, for ones who are fighting through surgeries or hardships and ones who have conquered the most common and fatal birth defect, CHD. He dedicates his events to them, feels the wind for them as he runs and uses their heroism to get him through a difficult moment in a race. He is a man with compassion and dedication to what he believes.
This weekend, Bob came to Arizona to compete in what he says is the most challenging even yet. He completed the Arizona Ironman with a fantastic time of 16:33 alongside his son, also a CHD survivor. We had the honor of meeting him and his sweet wife tonight before he returned to Colorado and while he kept speaking of how Gabriella was an inspiration (which I completely agree) I could not get over how inspiring he is. His humbleness and determination is remarkable. He has beat the odds and has vowed to make the most of the gift he has been given. He truly has a heart for God, in more than a spiritual way.
Bob gave his Ironman medal to Gabriella, stating "Believe me, Gabriella is the true Ironman". It was a unique moment, knowing this man spent not only years and years of training but 16 and a half hours yesterday swimming 2.4 miles, 112 miles on bike and a full 26.2 mile marathon... and handed over this trophy to my little girl. We are honored to be the recipient of such a deep and meaningful gift. Gabriella is truly inspired also, and cannot stop talking about what he did. She is so proud of him.
You can do anything you set your heart to.
Bob's blog can be found here: http://www.heartinspired.org/ and on Twitter as @Heart_Inspired. Please follow and support him in his journey as he inspires others!!!