Saturn V shaped finisher's medal for the 2015 Rocketman Florida Triathlon, courtesy Smooth Running

The Last Rocketman

I was convinced this would never happen. I hadn’t fully understood the implications of what my wife had said. Assuming that I wasn’t heard or that I wasn’t understood, I repeated myself as I gazed upon the most beautiful finisher’s medal I could imagine. “I could probably finish the race if I walked the 5K.

Father and Son in BSA uniforms

Everything Changes at Once

In January of 2016, Avner began to change. He became secretive and withdrawn. He was very irritable. Suddenly, he went from struggling with English to struggling in most classes. We worried. We also assumed the cause was puberty.

Jon & Richard at the finish line


The first Rocketman Triathlon was run on May fifth 2013. It was my first triathlon. I said that I would be happy with a time under four hours. I finished in just over three and a half hours. My friend Richard joked at the time, “next year in under three hours.” I was heavy, but clearly fit enough to complete the race. In August of 2014, I developed a blister