Why Race An Ironman
Why would David Brumley, an individual with a Primary Immunodeficiency, attempt to complete an Ironman?
The short answer is that I wanted to do something big for the PI community. A team of individuals brought together by the mysteries of their dysfunctional immune system. I had sworn off racing a full distance Ironman event. To swim 2.4 miles, then bike 112 miles and finish it off with a marathon is an insane thought for anyone. Then take into account I am not just anyone, I have CVID.
Last year was going to be my breakout year. The year I moved up into the top 5. I had spent the past years slowly building my body and learning how to either manage or avoid some of the symptoms of my illness. Everyday seemed to be another hard lesson in what my limitations where. Most importantly, I had learned that I was not normal and therefore could not keep comparing myself to normal. As the season progressed I was getting less than desirable results on race day even though training was still enjoyable and going well. As I neared my “key” race for the season, a local half-Ironman distance race, I found it hard to commit and sign up. I drug my feet until it was only a few weeks away and made the decisions. I had lost heart in racing. I still loved triathlon, training, and lifestyle. I simply could not find the reason to race.
Shortly after that race came and went, a group from my wife’s employer contacted me. They invited me to join their marathon relay team. It really did not interest me at first. However, my desire to compete began to change as I began to see how big the event was, how much media coverage was already talking about the different corporate relay teams and how they were racing each other. For the first time I realized that I could be doing what I love while increasing the public’s awareness of CVID and PI. I found my reason to race. I needed to be racing for something bigger than myself. For me, that something is the community of primary immunodeficient patients who need better. We need better diagnosis, treatment, management and quality of life options.
As I laid out my race calendar for this year I wanted to race for something bigger than myself, so that meant I needed to find a race bigger than myself. What’s bigger than an Ironman? Will it be hard? Will it hurt? Will I finish? How will I feel? Will I want to quit? These are all questions any first timer ask themselves. The only difference is that in many ways I ask myself these questions in my day-to-day life. At times life with PI can be hard physically and mentally to the point you shut down. For some it hurts to even move. You never know how you are going to feel and you always have to fight the thought of quitting with a positive mantra or message.
I am going to be an Ironman for those with a primary immunodeficiency. Our community is a team that understands, listens and supports it’s members. Thank you to all who call yourselves immunoeficient! My mantra for Ironman Louisville will be “Everything Is Awesome! Everything Is Cool When Your Part Of A Team.” (thank you LEGO)