You made a friend at an aid station?!

by Haley on January 23, 2012

I am a self-diagnosed exercise addict. How could I not be when my athletic endeavors have led me on so many amazing adventures? Is it possible for me to dislike something that’s allowed me to meet so many amazing people? Definitely not!

Last week I was in Pennsylvania for work but I managed to have dinner with two totally amazing ladies I only know because of sports.

In 2000, I watched the TV as American Kristy Kowal won the Silver Medal in the 200 breastroke at the Summer Olympics in Sydney. Fast forward three years and I found myself swimming at the University of Georgia, just one lane down from that same breakstroker!

Kristy taught me what it meant to be a Georgia Swim Dawg – how to race for yourself and for a team, and that even when your college swimming days are over, you are always a member of that team. 

Nearly eight years later, I think it is so cool that KK and I can sit in a restaurant in Reading, PA, talking about sets and times and coaches just like we did in the locker room at Georgia. KK and all of my UGA teammates will always be very special to me!

But now that I’ve moved on from swimmer to triathlete, I’ve opened the doors to even more amazing adventures and met even more cool people. I didn’t think that was even possible!

I like to tell people I met Alyssa Godesky at an aid station at Ironman Louisville. Alyssa tells the full hilarious story on her blog, and while I’m sure mutual suffering played a part, I like to think we’re two cool chicks who can recognize someone equally aweseome despite the suffering! I mean, seriously, who makes a friend at an aid station?!

Alyssa lives in Baltimore and we were able to coordinate a sort of meet-in-the-middle dinner in York, PA. This dinner led to some of the all-time best tweets I’ve ever seen.

First, Alyssa tweeted a trivia question:

Katie Thomas, another stellar 25-29 IronWoman got the answer right away:

And even Alyssa’s superstar coach (and my personal pro triathlete idol) Hillary Biscay had something nice to say! (I may frame this tweet)

But my coach thought the question was too difficult and the twittersphere needed another clue:

Thanks Diablo! Now the whole world can be absolutely certain Alyssa had dinner with a mongoose last week!

But in all seriousness, catching up with Alyssa while we weren’t racing was a ton of fun. And since she’s already qualified for Kona, I’m even more motivated to get myself back to the Big Island so we can cheer each other through more aid stations!

I sure hope the tiki man in the background didn't get any tears on Alyssa's jacket...

And stay tuned for even more fun exercising with friends news when I post my Hogpen Hill Climb race recap later this week!!!