First and foremost, I’m a dad who loves his son. I’m also one of those dads who could have done better and can only do my best from here on out.
I haven’t had any contact with my son since 12/15/2017. For over a year I had been fighting for my rights as a father before San Franciso Family Court in what had become an unnecessarily bitter- and ultimately unwinnable- legal battle. By November of that year, I was faced with the reality that, if I were to continue fighting, my son would be drawn directly in to the proceedings to effectively choose between his parents. This was unacceptable to me, so with a heavy heart I walked away from the battlefield. At the time, I was plagued with the thought that my son might assume I had walked away from him, too.
I couldn’t do that- even if I wanted to. My son- along with my sobriety- are the best things that ever happened to me. I will never give up on either. After a few weeks of some hand wringing and a lot of self-pity, the obvious occurred to me. I was surrounded by opportunities to prove to my son beyond any doubt that I haven’t given up on him. I just had to find the willingness to take on something that would require a lot of my time and all of my determination- something that I couldn’t be certain I could pull off, no matter how much I had prepared. Then I would have to face any fear of failure and- with total devotion- try to pull it off.
I’ve never heard anyone question the difficulty of completing an IRONMAN. Who would say anything that starts with swimming 2.4 miles, followed by a 112-mile bike ride, and topped off with a full marathon of 26.2 miles is an easy undertaking? I’m hardly the first alcoholic to turn to triathlon in recovery, but following a path that people like Rich Roll have walked down isn’t anything to be ashamed of in my book. So on 11/18/2018- the day my son turns 14- I’ll be attempting my first full IRONMAN in Cozumel, Mexico.*
So who am I? My given name is Wil Sinclair. Nowadays I’d say I am IRONDAD as much as anyone or anything else. But, to be clear, I’m not the only one. You don’t have to going around running IRONMANs to be an IRONDAD. When faced with a fork in the journey of his life, an IRONDAD is any man who is willing to follow the path that he believes will make him the best father he can be- even if it’s a little steeper, a lot longer, or not as well worn as some of his other options.
* On 11/18/2018, I completed a my first IRONMAN in Cozumel, Mexico with a time of 11:43:50. Happy Birthday, Max. I love you more than words alone could ever express.