I wrote this letter for Darin without his knowledge when he did IMC 2002. Steve King read it out loud at the Carbo Dinner but Darin was not there to hear it. I think a lot of the sentiment in this letter still rings true. He has always worked on how to train without taking away family time and I thank him tremendously for that.
Do not be fooled by the apparent scantness of Darin’s info page. He has achieved far greater than he realizes. He started triathlon three years ago. Being the type of person who, when struck by a passion, needs to pursue it fully and completely, he totally immersed himself in the sport. We have a sign on our kitchen cupboard that reads “We interrupt this marriage to bring you triathlon”, and it is true. If it wasn’t races being broadcast on TV or reading his magazines, he was out training. In the beginning, he was doing short course and the training didn’t take much time. The year he started training for Ironman Canada, things started to change. This race means so much to him. He could probably recite word for word the last three Hawaii Ironman broadcasts and I think he still gets teary-eyed when he thinks of Dick and Rick Hoyt. He has given up so many things to train, among them being sleep. He works as a bus driver in Vancouver at night and during the day is a wonderful stay-at-home Dad to our children. He used to sleep when they napped but they haven’t done that for a while. Now they just know to be quiet when Dad’s napping and will play quite happily on their own.
He also has realized another dream in being selected for the Justice Institute’s Fire Academy, beginning in October 2002. In preparation for this schooling, he has been taking Distance Education courses in order to satisfy various Fire Departments’ requirements of thirty credit hours. He studies at night, on his bus, when he has a break.
Since stepping up his training this year, he has had to become quite creative regarding when he works out. Many times, he’s up before the rest of us and sometimes goes out after we’ve gone to bed. That way there is more time for him to be with us. I am truly amazed at how much training he can pack into a week or one day for that matter. Some days we don’t see him for more than thirty minutes before he’s off to work or to work out.
I used to think it was easy for him to leave and go for a bike or run. He could just walk out that door and go. But it’s hard when you come back and your children don’t want you to do anything for them. It’s hard when you come back and you’ve missed one of those precious moments in your child’s life. It’s hard to come back and your wife tells you it’s easier to sleep when you’re not there simply because she’s so used to you not being there. It’s hard when you come back and an hour later you have to leave for work. He is totally focussed on his goal and is committed to reaching it. He is also completely committed to being a good father and a good husband. He is a wonderful example for our children. They are so much better off because he has chosen this journey, Being on his own for those long rides or runs, he is able to concentrate on that which is important to him. We didn’t know it, but he took us with him every time.
He constantly strives to do better and better. His first race, locally at Crescent Beach 1999, he completed in 2:44:42. In 2001, his time was 2:11:04. He’s not afraid to push himself in a race or in training to achieve the best he can. Overall, his determination and will seem to have no end.
On August 25, 2002, he races his first Ironman distance, though he’s done it many times in his mind and dreams. I know he has the stuff. He proves it everyday.