I've always wanted a tattoo, but had the unfortunate problem of not knowing what to get or where to get it. I did always have in my mind though that if I ever completed an Ironman, I would get the "M-Dot" tattoo somewhere.
There is a lot of debate around getting what basically amounts to a corporate logo permanently inked on your body...but in the end, I think its all about what it represents. For me, I knew if I got the tattoo it would always remind me of this season of life. A season that included ups and downs, hard training days, constant communication with Megan about all things Ironman, and a shift in my daily mindset to always remember this simple directive: never stop moving forward.
Most people get the traditional solid red M-Dot but I wanted something more simple. Plus, I've never looked good in red. So I decided on the black outline of the M-Dot.
Once that was decided, I needed to determine where the tattoo would go. Again, most people generally get the tattoo on their calf...but I didn't necessarily want to get it on my calf. Mainly because I'm extremely ticklish from the knees down.
I thought about getting it on the inside of my upper arm or on the back of my shoulder, but after doing Ironman Texas and seeing so many people with the M-Dot on their calf...I decided that's where I wanted to get mine. #easilyinfluenced
We originally planned to get our tattoos at Lululemon on Sunday morning, but they were all booked up. As soon as we got back to Monroe, I knew I needed to book an appointment ASAP or I would chicken out. Our friend Jamie had just gotten a pretty impressive portrait of his boxer on his calf from a new tattoo shop in Sterlington called Ink on the Bayou. I called them up on Tuesday and made the appointment for Thursday evening...and then tried not to think about it for the next few days.
I have to admit that up until the moment I was facedown on the table with the tattoo gun hovering over my right calf, Chad didn't think that I was going to go through with it. He thought my ticklish lower legs combined with the noise of the tattoo gun would do me in. Thankfully he was wrong!
My tattoo artist Kim was incredibly nice and explained all the steps along the way. She recently moved to north Louisiana from Canada and had actually tattooed an M-Dot for an Ironman Canada finisher. I knew I was in capable hands and was surprisingly relaxed. I was in and out of the shop in 45 minutes, with the actual tattooing part taking about 25-30 minutes.
Much like the Ironman, it was an out of body experience! I couldn't believe (and still kind of can't believe) that I have a tattoo. But I love it!