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March 15, 2012 / Jackie Grady

What it means to be a Bonnie

Yesterday when I posted “What’s a Bonnie,” I wanted to reach out to my SBU friends on Facebook and share my thoughts as we all anticipate this weekends basketball games.  I thought that if 50 people read it, I would be ecstatic. I have 1,081 hits. And that’s just today. Before lunch time. Wow. Thank you.

Of course, I’ve thought more on what it means to be a Bonnie. And again, it’s nothing tangible. No one can touch it, throw it, or wave it. It’s an experience. Let me share a story:

About 6 years ago I entered into an Olympic distance triathlon in Miami. It was a beautiful November morning and I was wearing a St. Bonaventure t-shirt during warm ups. A man approached me and asked if I went to St. Bonaventure. Happily I told him I was the class of 1997. He was from the class of 1967 and was going to participate in the full length Ironman trithlon. We exchanged good lucks and went our separate ways.

After staggered starts for different age groups and distances, I began my triathlon. I managed the 1/2 mile swim by actually drinking more of the lake than swimming and stayed steady during the 22 mile bike ride. It was the run that was my undoing. My body wanted to fold in half and collapse. By the second mile of the run, the sun was blazing and I was plodding along. As I was one of the last groups to start, the course was emptying of fans and participants. I was alone.

English: Entrance to Zoo Miami

I came around a bend, just outside the Miami Zoo, when I heard a roar of yelling, clapping and cheers. Anxiously, I looked ahead to find the triathlete that was garnering this attention. Then I heard it, “C’mon Bonaventure! Let’s Go Bona’s!” It was the ’67 alum’s friends and family. None of them knew me. They didn’t even know my name. But no matter, I was a Bonnie, like he was a Bonnie (well probably more like a Brown Indian). I responded with a fist pump and a huge grin.  That gracious gift of support carried me across the finish line.

I have some wonderful athletic highlights in my lifetime but that is one of my favorites.

Does anyone else have a similar experience?

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