On March 22nd I will be embarking on my biggest physical challenge yet – Ironman Melbourne (3.8km swim / 180km ride / 42km run).
I have seen many friends & strangers endure Melbourne Ironman and am completely in awe of what they have accomplished. Taking one on was never something I’d even remotely considered – and then last year, something changed. My motive didn’t need a ‘why’ it became a ‘why not’, even though I agree it is just a little crazy… I am one of the fortunate ones who can, many cannot. Since that adrenalin pumped moment when I signed up, that is what my IM journey has become more and more about.
At the time, my good friend Mads was about to embark on what would become his biggest physical challenge. He had recently been diagnosed with Myeloma - a rare blood cancer (even rarer in people of his age at 37). A husband to Emma and father to little Ollie (2), he chose a treatment path that just might provide a cure. For him, it was the only option.
Complications soon arose and he endured an epic 70 day battle in hospital, the physical equivalent to possibly an Ironman each and every day... Not once did he or his beautiful wife Emma even come within a mile of giving up.
When I delivered Mads some boxing gloves on behalf of his friends to help in his fight, I told him I’d signed up for an Ironman, his response ‘You are crazy. YOU are CRAZY!’ in his blunt but beautiful Danish accent. It was then that I decided I would do my Ironman for Mads, it would give him something to aim for, although be nothing in comparison to the fight he was in the middle of.
3 weeks later - his body said enough. He'd done far more than physically possible. His fight had come to an end.
So on the 22nd March, my own physical challenge will be dedicated to a guy who took ‘never give up’ to another level. A guy who was one of the finest in every way, and will always have a place in our hearts.
If you are able to donate even a few dollars towards the Myeloma Foundation – to help bring awareness and most importantly a cure for this cancer that’s referred to as one of ‘the forgotten cancers’ - one day, it just might make a difference to someone like Mads.