Meeting Brian Boyle

In October, Brian Boyle friended me on Facebook.  I wrote:

“Is it a coincidence that Brian Boyle has been randomly been introduced to me twice in one month?  Maybe.  But now I have to read his book.  Who knows?  Maybe someday I might even get a chance to meet him, or run the same triathlon as him.”

I read Brian’s book.  It is incredible.  I rarely read books twice, but I plan on reading this one again.  When I finish my second read-through, I plan to write about my reaction to his story.

This past week, Brian hosted a book signing and fun run at a local running store, so I took advantage of the opportunity to meet him.  I got to the store late because of some awful rush hour traffic, and I was dreading that he may have already left for the run.  There was a number of people decked out in running gear when I walked in the store, so I felt relieved.

I found Brian in the back of the store signing his book for someone.  I waited my turn, and began to introduce myself.  It an awesome surprise when Brian practically finished my introduction.  He recognized me, knew my name before I could say it, got up from his chair and gave me a bear hug.

Brian already knew that I am training for the Nation’s Triathlon, so he enthusiastically talked to me about my training and the Nation’s Triathlon.  Then he changed into his running gear and everyone in the store headed out into the parking lot for a 3 mile run.

I ran the whole 3 miles next to Brian.  Every once in a while he’d ask if the pace was OK for me.  I remember thinking to myself a couple times, “This guy died eight times, completed the Ironman Triathlon and now he’s running next to me!”

There were also some serious triathletes running alongside Brian.  They talked a to Brian about different triathlon courses, professional triathletes, who won such-and-such a race, and who they thought would win the next big race.  Being a complete newcomer to the sport, most of those conversations went over my head.

When the run came to an end, I talked to Brian for a while, I got a picture with him, and he signed my copy of his book!

Smiling for the camera with Brian Boyle, my triathlon hero

Smiling for the camera with Brian Boyle, my triathlon hero

Brian's Message

His message reads

To Chris,

Any day is a great day when you live your dreams.  I wish you all the best in all that you pursue especially w/ Nation’s!  Go get em buddy!!

Brian Boyle

I was really struck by Brian’s enthusiasm for life, his sense of humility, and his genuine interest in other people’s success — all of which permeated the conversations he had with me and others during the course of the evening.

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2 Comments

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2 responses to “Meeting Brian Boyle

  1. Punita

    Just finished reading ‘Iron Heart.’ It’s such an incredible story. I think everyone can probably find something to relate to in it, but for me, I read it at the perfect moment. I was starting to feel very nervous about signing up for the Olympic distance. If Brian Boyle can overcome all that he went through to do the Iron Man, I certainly have no excuse for not being prepared for my triathlon. Thanks for plugging the book!

  2. Pingback: Crawford’s Triathlon: Epilog « Crawford's Triathlon

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