Posted by: David D. Daggett | July 4, 2011

If You Believe It

If You Believe It

      “Where is she?” The children impatiently inquired. “Shouldn’t she be here by now?” Our whole family was outside on the porch of our rental house on this breezy afternoon while on our Ironman trip in Coeur D’Alene, Idaho. We’d invited an old friend from Spokane, Washington to come over to spend the afternoon with us.

      “Don’t worry,” our 10-year-old daughter said very matter-of-factly “in her book something always happens to her while traveling, but the Lord always sees her through. She’s okay.” Just then we got a phone call. She was calling us from a borrowed cell phone while a bit lost in town. We redirected her, and before we could offer to come show her the way she hung up. The whole family hurried out to the road front to watch for her.

Ironman Legend - Sister Madonna Buder

      It was still taking too long. What was going on? Then, finally, we see her coming down the road. About to turn 81 later this month, Sister Madonna Buder was on her bike! With a big smile Sister Madonna jumped off her bike, gave us a big hug, and as we looked at her with surprise on our faces she said “how else did you expect me to get here!?”

      Sister Madonna and I have crossed paths a number of times over the years. We are both in our 30th year of racing triathlons, although I started at 21 and she started at 51. Seeing her and spending time with her is always an inspirational treat. Her book, The Grace to Race, is full of motivational stories sure to inspire you to believe you can accomplish far more than you ever thought was possible.

       We spent the afternoon together sharing stories and having a few laughs. The kids never took their eyes off of Sister Madonna looking on with amazement and hanging on every word. We discussed her continuing hopes and dreams of opening the over 80 female age group at the Hawaii Ironman. First though, even though she has held records in numerous age groups over the years, she still has to qualify. Her last opportunity will be at Ironman Canada in late August. “If you believe it, you can do it,” she says. “That’s why I biked over today … I have to be ready.” She further instructed that part of believing it is also being willing to do the requisite work needed to achieve it.

       We spent a delightful afternoon learning lessons from Sister Madonna and she joined us out for an early dinner. Our daughter kept a careful eye on the time, because we had to leave her three hours of daylight for the return ride home.

       Positive influences on future generations make the future brighter for all of us. Sister Madonna is a positive influence leader and we can’t wait to cross her path again soon. 

You better believe it,


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