Inspiration For A Broken Boy

>> Thursday, May 29, 2008

Mister P (AKA Wedgie), who is training for Ironman Coeur d'Alene in just a few weeks, recently said something about getting real sick of Black Sabbath’s song “Iron Man.” And I can’t really blame him. Mister P noted that if that song is playing on the loud speakers as he’s coming to the finish, he’ll stop and wait for the next song. Hilarious.

A few months ago, when Ironman (the movie) was first being advertised, that same song would pop up near the end of the ads on TV. Probably much to Mister P’s chagrin, it always took me back to my Ironman last year. Only it wasn’t taking me back to my finish. It took me back to 78-year-young Frank Farrar’s finish.

(please watch all 49 seconds)

Frank is nearing the arch in the distance at the start of the video, just as Ozzy’s Iron Man is starting to play. I’m standing near the finish line with my camera in the air, recording a video. Frank runs through the cheering crowds on his way to finishing Ironman WI. Just before the finish line (and directly in front of me), Frank stops, takes off his hat, and bows to the roars of the crowd. What a guy. In the process, he nearly collapses. He turns around, and crosses the line as the official last place finisher of IM WI 2007 (in 16:56:37).

I was screaming. I was crying. I still tear up each time I watch this. It takes me back to the entire day that was Ironman. I wanted to share this video with you all. If Frank can do this, I can reach my goal at Grandmas Marathon in just over 3 weeks, bad heel and all.

Mister P, don’t worry: this was the only time during the entire evening that I heard this song being played. As for you, this will be your run in a few weeks. Enjoy it. Absorb it all. It will be your moment.


Wedgie 12:42 PM, May 29, 2008  

OK, maybe if I have 23 seconds before midnight and Iron Man is playing on the speakers, I just might not wait for the next song!

(aka Mister P)

Steve Stenzel 12:47 PM, May 29, 2008  

Oh jeez, when did you become "wedgie" from "Mister P"??? I feel like a dolt. Oops...

21stCenturyMom 1:33 PM, May 29, 2008  

I love that clip. I missed it because we had IronMomJenny's daughter with us and the poor kid was whipped after a very long day of cheerleading.

Where others hear "Ironman" I hear AC/DC and the sounds of my youth.

21stCenturyMom 1:43 PM, May 29, 2008  

wait - I meant Black Sabbath Paranoid which was also from my youth.

Wedgie 1:46 PM, May 29, 2008  

I was called Mister P. at work for a long time but it just never stuck with my Tri Team, who insist on calling me "Wedgie". So I have bowed to their demands. After CdA, I will probably fight against "IronWedgie" however; that just sounds too painful!

Isn't there even more to story of Frank? Like didn't he miss the Wisconsin IM finish by a matter of minutes last year? I seem to recall he's a bit of a legend on the circuit.

Viv 2:34 PM, May 29, 2008  

Awesome clip, so inspiring!

SWTrigal 4:53 PM, May 29, 2008  

I will remember that clip at IMCDA. Thank you!

Rick Gaston 5:03 PM, May 29, 2008  

Nice blog Steve and thanks for stopping by. Yeah these guys are inspirational. I love hanging out at finish lines and watching people finish. Congrats on IM Moo. I'm in Wisconsin next week for a run myself. I heard the people are nice.

Chris 5:58 PM, May 29, 2008  

Funny. When the winning woman won at IMWI several years ago, they were playing Shania Twain's "Feels Like A Woman". I swore that I'd stop and wait for the song to be finished if that were playing, too. :)

Kevin 7:02 PM, May 29, 2008  

Great clip. Definitely inspiring

Tyger Lily 8:54 PM, May 29, 2008  

Thanks for sharing! Very inspirational!

Kim 8:23 AM, May 30, 2008  

aw i totally teared up and got goosebumps.

is it weird i dont know that black sabbath song?

chia 10:50 AM, May 30, 2008  

That was the first and only song I really ever got any good at playing on the bass guitar. Ironman is permanently ingrained into my melon as the sheer epitome of puberty, teenage angst, and metal-ridden rebellion.

Just hearing that song I feel as though I need to break something or grow hair in awkward areas, but I digress.

That rockin' gent nearly made me teary. I love inspiration like this, great post :-). Good luck in your training!

KodaFit 11:15 AM, May 30, 2008  

First of all - I think IronWedgie would be an awesome name - well may be not if I was the guy being called it, but I still like the sound of it.

Second I have a question - as one who has yet to achieve the IronMan dream, and is still undergoing a lot of hero worship for those of you who have...

When you get to the end, can you even tell what music is playing? I've done some longer races, and all I can think of at the end is "I did it! I did it! I did it!"

Just curious...

a.maria 11:45 AM, May 30, 2008  

ha. i have a similar video but was standing a little further infront of you.

i tear up and get goosebumps every time i watch it!

The (IRON) Clyde 12:10 PM, May 30, 2008  

Here's my angle as well...

I use this for motivation all the time when I don't "feel like working out"....

triguyjt 2:44 PM, May 30, 2008  


two words....

goose bumps.


I'm sure frank didn't care what song was playing..

KK 4:11 PM, May 30, 2008  

weird, I thought I left a comment but it isn't appearing. Sorry if this posts twice...

What a great tribute, that is so inspiring! I enjoyed your parting advice too.

brendaj 5:56 PM, May 30, 2008  

Amazing video. I teared up too.

Borsch 9:31 PM, May 30, 2008  

What a great video!!! That a great moment to be present at!

Good Luck at Grandma's...I'll be there cheering you 3 on!

sRod 5:54 AM, May 31, 2008  

Great video. Really makes me feel like I shouldn't complain about tris anymore.

IronTriTim 7:10 PM, May 31, 2008  

I am hoping I will be fit enough to complete an Ironman at 78. Fit enough in 5 months would be great!

Taconite Boy 6:42 AM, June 01, 2008  

I also HATE that song, and will not cross under its horrendous sound.


greyhound 12:14 PM, June 01, 2008  

Not my favorite song, but how cool to have a theme song like that when you're that age. I can only hope to be half as resilient.

trimybest 8:47 PM, June 01, 2008  

i have a clip of that on my cellphone too! it was the absolute best moment in any sporting event i have ever witnessed!

RunBubbaRun 6:35 AM, June 02, 2008  

I actually saw him jugging along on the last part of the IMWI marathon. Breathing hard but going..

So fight through it, I'm sure you will do great in a couple of weeks at grandma's..

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