Me being me, I bitch and whine about lots of things.  Particularly during the last week, with taper and no power and general pre-race moodiness, I have not been at my best.  Often times when I’m in complete and total self absorption mode, I forget to be appreciative of the people (person) who supports me the most day in and day out.  So, on his 38th (not 35th) birthday, I want to say happy birthday and thank you for everything you do Babydoll (and to look back at the last four years)!

Shaun and I met at the Gatorade Swim Practice at Ironman Louisville in August of 2008.  Shaun had more hair and actually finished the race before me.  I guess there’s a first (and last) time for everything. 

Unfortunately for me, Shaun lived in Florida and I lived in Connecticut and we didn’t see each other again until Ironman Arizona 2008 when we volunteered and I registered for the 2009 race. 

During the winter of 2009, I pretty much spent every weekend in Tampa.  Florida is nice in the winter, Connecticut, not so much.  I don’t know how many hours I spent in random ice palaces watching Shaun play hockey. 

By summer of 2009, after an extended stay in New York city while I was on trial, Shaun moved to Connecticut on a part time basis.  We got engaged (at the airport — how romantic) in February of 2010 and in April Shaun made the permanent move.  Shaun has been reminding me on a regular basis that it doesn’t snow in Florida in October.

We had a Vegas wedding in September of 2010 at the Wynn. 

While the casinos really aren’t my thing, I did like all the nice pools (and Shaun actually came down to watch me swim in the mornings, perhaps because the 25 yard pool was also the topless pool).

During our wedding Shaun, who was crying, forgot he had a microphone on and made the best statement ever — “I guess I’m the girl in this relationship.” 

Despite all the teasing I put him through, Shaun has always been right by my side — for good, for bad and for my complete breakdowns (like when I was laying on the floor sobbing before Lake Placid because I didn’t think I was ready to race).  

No matter, what Shaun is there supporting (or screaming at me if need be).  Happy Birthday Babydoll and thank you for everything!

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Kelly Burns Gallagher

mccarter english employment litigator / oiselle team runner / coeur sports triathlete / sonic endurance coach & race director / witsup.com writer / dartmouth '02 / emorylaw '05

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