Friday, November 02, 2007


My Ironman Purple Heart plant froze last night.

Last year during the days around Ironman Florida, I picked up a sprig of ground cover at our campground and started a new houseplant. As days and weeks went by and the plant took hold and grew, I pondered how appropriate the Purple Heart was because I felt as if I'd been wounded in the race..... I had nightmares about the swim, wouldn't eat ice cream because I never ever wanted to feel cold again, and felt I was pretty much done with triathlon. As a matter of fact, although I've been running and biking recently, I still haven't been into the water since that day.

I didn't expect it to get so cold last night.

But as I lifted my plant's frozen branches, I saw that there were a few places underneath that were still alive. I trimmed off all the frozen parts and left the living leaflets. Purple Hearts are determined and these little pieces will grow and renew my plant.

It's the perfect image for this point in my life when I have become sure I will do another triathlon after all, in fact the toughest one in the world, yes, tougher than St. Croix, the SavageMan half-iron in Western Maryland .

My SavageMan plans grew out of my frozen Appalachian Trail plans. Those plans, however, are in suspended life; just dormant for a year.

Karen sent an email today about an "Inner Triathlete," a "joyful memory spark that says do it again," and the image came alive for me when I saw the surviving sprigs underneath.

Hope is alive. I wish I had thought to take pictures when I saw the frozen plant still erect and edged with frost, then thawed and wilted indoors, before I trimmed it. But I didn't see a blog post at first... all I saw was a dead plant. The picture is what is left of what was a dark-purple flowering plant with branches 18 inches long. It should remind me always to see the possibilities.

The triathlete that was frozen at IMFL is still alive and is determined to grow back.

1 comment:

Downhillnut said...

*sniff* That's just beautiful, Ellie. I love it when little comments spark meaningful epiphanies.

.. and I'm glad your triathlete is growing back :)