Ironman 70.3 7/13/15
The chainring around the M-Dot is significant because cycling is my strongest of the three disciplines in triathlon, and the joke too is that I never seem to ride without getting a "tattoo" of the chainring on my leg. What is also important about this particular chainring, is that it has the same number of teeth on it as the small ring on my bike, Monsoon. It's all about the details!
Tribute #1 10/15/15
I got my second tattoo in October. I knew that I wanted something as a tribute to Justus. I looked online at different ideas so I was able to go in with a general idea of what I wanted. I wanted something unique, and one that couldn't be duplicated. I showed Brian two ideas and told him that I wanted to sorta blend the two concepts. The silhouette inside the paw is none other than Justus. It was made using a picture of Justus in the snow. I am a pretty open person and I am open to different ideas and concepts so when Brian asked how I felt about adding color instead of just black, I said, "I trust you completely, and whatever you think will look best, I'm on board!" Once again, I was impressed with the result. Every time I see this tattoo in the mirror, I smile. I've had people comment that the tattoo is pretty big. My response, "Go big, or go home!" The colors are absolutely gorgeous! It hurt like hell, and I probably dropped the F bomb a few dozen times. When Brian finished, I looked in the mirror and wanted to cry. Justus, my guardian angel, was forever etched on my shoulder. My reason for putting it on my shoulder is because when I started running half marathons, I used to put temporary tattoos on my shoulders, to pull in the spirit of dogs in the past, who would push me forward when I wanted to give up in the race. This tattoo gives me an incredible amount of strength. When I want to stop, give up, quit, go to bed, or whatever, I think about Justus on my shoulder telling me I can keep going, that I am strong, that I can push through anything. Now, this you see, is where things get a little controversial. I posted this picture of me in the bathroom mirror, and the caption was something along the lines of "my tattoo gives me strength. . ." which was met with responses I didn't expect. My tattoo suddenly opened up a conversation about religion which then publicized my views on religion. I don't hide my views, but tend to keep them private, as I do not follow a certain standard religion. Long story short, I believe in doing the right thing because it's the right thing to do and not necessarily because a spiritual guide tells me so. I believe in helping others (human or animal) no matter where they come from. I believe I have good morals and it should not matter what religion I do or do not follow. Regardless, the conversation of strength got a little out of control. Oh well, what are you going to do? Again, don't judge me for what I do or don't believe. Judge me on who I am as a person, and my impact on the world around me. Okay, I'm done explaining myself here. . . Let's move on to the third tattoo, shall we?
Tribute #2 12/15/15
Before I got the last tattoo, I got on Pinterest and looked at other ideas people had for animal tattoos. I came across something similar and once again came to Brian with an idea that was open to suggestions. Brian has a great eye for art (obviously) and details. If you look at the paw print, you will notice that it is an upside-down heart. The dog in middle is once again an outline of Justus. It is perhaps not as obvious as the silhouette from the paw print, but I can see it! The message is that my heart is connected to not just Justus, but all dogs. Without dogs, I lose my heart. With dogs, I am a survivor.
Today, while at work I kept looking at it and thought, "I bet I could do something to wrap this all the way around my wrist." I stopped by the shop on my way home from work and said, "So while I was at work today I started to have this idea. . . " and the conversation went from there. One reason I decided to get this tattoo now instead of later was because I will start swimming again in January as part of base training, and when you get a tattoo, you have to stay out of public water for about two weeks, for obvious reasons.