It’s finally here. Almost one year ago, I signed up to take on Ironman Wisconsin for a second time. And shortly after signing up, I had the good fortune to be chosen to represent Tri 4 Schools as one of the Athletes of the Year. In thinking about what I wanted to write about over the past several weeks for my final “pre race” blog post, one word kept coming to mind – gratitude.

Gratitude that I have a body that is able to do a race like the Ironman.  A body that I beat up in training, day after day, and then forgives me after a good night’s sleep.  One of my favorite signs that I saw at IMWI several years ago says, “There will be a day that you can no longer do this.  Today is not that day.”

Gratitude for my friends, family and coworkers who have been supportive throughout this journey, and whom I couldn’t do this without.  You all mean the world to me and I love you to the moon and back.

Gratitude for the opportunity afforded to me to be paired up with a great coach, and an all around awesome person, Cindi Bannink.  She has done everything in her power to help me succeed and I truly appreciate her guidance, wisdom and support.

Gratitude for the awesome peeps that are part of Madison Multisport, who got me through the cold winter workouts and endless hours of spinning in the studio. Although my schedule didn’t afford me the time to do many group workouts this summer, I have enjoyed being part of such a stellar group of people who I think totally rock.

Gratitude for everyone who has contributed a single dollar to assist me in reaching my fundraising goal for this great organization. I know that there are countless organizations that you could give your hard earned money to, and I am so thankful that you chose this one (editor’s note – you can still support Angie HERE, she’s just $1400 shy of her goal!).

Gratitude to Katie and Tri 4 Schools, for giving me the honor to represent such an amazing organization with such an important mission.  It has truly been my pleasure to spread the word and speak about Tri 4 Schools whenever given the chance.  I hope I have succeeded.

And finally, Gratitude to all of the kids whom I have had the honor of seeing cross the finish line at the races this year.  You have truly reminded me what racing and life is all about:  being brave in the face of uncertainty, giving it your all, and doing it all with a smile on your face.

Thank you, thank you, thank you.

I will see you all at the finish line.

Footnote – Angie is bib number 975 at Ironman Wisconsin on Sunday.  We hope you spot her in her Tri 4 Schools gear out on the course and give her some extra encouragement!  We’re so grateful for you, Angie.  Thank you for all you’ve done to raise awareness about our mission and for supporting our kids.