Every year, we serve the Ironman Triathlon that comes to our city.  It’s a challenge that people train for years to participate in.  The dedication this 140.6-mile race takes is powerful.  The magic starts in the water at Lake Sonoma with a 2.4-mile swim and next, the 112-mile bike ride.  The hills, twists and turns make their way through the heart of our beautiful Sonoma County wine country. The 14-hour intense race brings sweat and tears as they push themselves through extreme fatigue. One participant shared, ‘The energy is infectious.  From the families and the community cheering on the athletes to the athletes themselves, this is the day to be in Santa Rosa, that’s for sure!”

This year, Justin Lynn was the resident in charge of organizing our volunteer team.  Justin is in the middle of Phase 4 of his program and very close to graduation.   All residents are required to complete a Senior Project by organizing our team to volunteer at either a major event or project out in the community.  The purpose is to learn hands-on organization skills and to be outward-focused and not focused solely on our own needs.  This connects the residents to other organizations, nonprofits and community leaders and has led to some deep relationships that last beyond the Senior Project. Justin did such an extraordinary job that Iron Man awarded him ‘The Best Group’ of volunteers for the triathlon.

I spoke with Justin about his experience with this event.  “It felt really wonderful being a part of Ironman, on behalf of Crossing the Jordan.  I love how we stepped up and filled in the gap where we were needed.” Justin’s energy was contagious as he lead the residents, some grads and staff to serve.  As a graduate myself, this is one of my favorite parts of the program. It’s so amazing to serve and have fun while you are doing it.  It’s so cool because through our joy of serving we inspire others to serve too.

Thank you, Justin, for your heart to serve.  And most importantly, thank you Ironman for allowing us to be a part of this every year.  To the athletes…you are motivating us to push forward. Indeed, serving does a body, heart and soul good.