THIS is the Blankner family from College Station, Texas! That's Emily, her husband Brett, and their six year old son, Kai. Now, they did not know me before they arrived, nor did I know them, perse, but I felt like I was the hostess to rock stars! Coach Brett does the most wonderful podcasts about triathlon and balancing life and family that can be downloaded at his website www.zentri.com. I started listening to him after finding them while rehabbing my broken leg. Brett's podcasts got me through my rehab and training, all alone, for Ironman Hawaii. I had to train at a walk, for anybody that remembers, and sometimes the only thing that got me out on that silly 6 hour training walk (ugh, hurts to even think about it!) was knowing I had one of his episodes to listen to. It was like having somebody there to train with, and not only was the guy a character and had a family just like mine (one triathlete, one other athlete/supporter and a six year old son), but he was funny and informative at the same time. SO, for the past couple of years I'd been thinking in my head, "wouldn't it be cool if I could somehow repay this Coach Brett fellow for all he has done for me, that he doesn't even have any clue about?!". Lo, and behold, a couple of months ago, Brett anounced in a podcast that he had qualified for the hard-to-get-into Escape From Alcatraz Triathlon. I emailed him straight away and said, "Bring the family! Come stay at my house! I'll loan you one of our cars! Come and do this race!".
And out they came! I picked up my little adopted family at the airport the Thursday before the race and they were delightful! I felt like I had famous people visiting. We enjoyed their stay so much! Emily, who is a nurse and a runner, was so enjoyable to be with and Kai and Sporty Spice were a match made in heaven. And to get to talk tri with Brett in person was like a crazy dream come true. Brett met up with Jamie Patrick, the ultra swimmer who is planning to swim down the Sacramento river this summer, and that was interesting to hear about even second hand. We took the boys to the Space and Science Center which was fun. And Brett had a great race and got to check one of his dreams of his list at Escape From Alcatraz. It was so fun to have them here, it was actually a bummer when they left. I'm so glad I took a chance and sent my email to invite them. Triathlon truly is more than a sport. I know it is a lifestyle, but it is also a sort of family in many ways.
Check out Brett's podcasts and website at www.zentri.com!