Shortly thereafter, I also found out that she was going to go on a tour to promote her book and one of the destinations was going to be Toronto, yay! Made sure that the date was in 2 of my calendars because I have no more brain cells left. Waited, and waited, and then Chrissie had to reschedule her visit because of a "Muppet moment", but 2 weeks ago, finally (oh the excitment!!), she came to GEARS Toronto for an evening to introduce her book, her passion for the sport, her kindness, and her great humour to her biggest fans in Canada.
I made sure I arrived there with enough time to spare since I had to cross the entire Greater Toronto Area in rush hour and with Chrissie's book in one hand, a coffee in another, I waited for the event to start. I was there first, so I got seated on a couch just across from her, but alas forgot my camera at home and was left with the mediocre pixel count of the iPhone 4 to capture the moment. Not much later, fellow blogger Doug arrived, who I recognized right away, and who had just become first time Ironman at Mt. Tremblant - way to go, Doug! - so I spent the rest of the time chatting with him about photography and all things Ironman (and his shiny new medal).
Chrissie arrived on time, but sporting a hard boot on her left foot, so she joked about being jinxed every time she gets to travel to Toronto, but hey, this time I swear it wasn't me, I even left my Muppet t-shirt at home.
|Chrissie in a boot|
Once she finished telling us her story and the Q&A session concluded, we all lined up to have our book signed. I kinda jumped the line towards the front since I had been there first anyway, then waited my turn, face flushing red, white and purple the closer I was getting to her. I may have had a hot flash and a Raynaud's attack too. I was a pretty shaky mess once my turn arrived and quickly I told her that I was one of those noobs that didn't know anything about triathlon before seeing her racing in Kona, but that I was determined to finish an Ironman, so she wrote on the back of my t-shirt "You can do it!". She also wrote "Smiles" in the book, which of course, could not be closer to the truth. Look at her smile and look at mine too, I think I may have dislocated my jaw because it stayed like that for the rest of the week.
But one thing you should know, Chrissie Wellington rocks. And the inspiration that she gave me and the love for this sport that I am trying really hard not to get drunk on, I will pay them forward by volunteering at Ironman Muskoka 70.3 race this coming weekend. Smile on!