Tattoos - to me - tell a story. Every tattoo I have means something different to me and has its own back story. Now many people say they ended up with their tattoo after a night of drinking with friends or on a dare. That's Not Me! A ton of thought went into each thing I put on my body.
Hello! These things last forever.
Or until you have thousands of dollars to get them removed. :P
I promise there will be a whole different post explaining the meaning behind these 5 tattoos, but today is all about #6.
Since early 2013, I knew I wanted to get another tattoo on my left foot. I needed my tattoos to be symmetric. What can I say? :P
I had a general idea of what I wanted, but told myself I would get it following the Boston Marathon. I knew the tattoo would pay homage to my fitness/weight-loss journey to date.
But what exactly to do was eluding me. I had a few ideas, but not a concrete plan.
With the events of the Boston Marathon, the tattoo idea kind of went by the wayside. But, once the triathlon became my main focus, I knew the tattoo would have to happen soon after that.
A triathlon had never been on my radar so completing that would take my fitness journey to a new level.
The week after the tri (which was August 4) the design came to me. I knew exactly what I wanted on my left foot. I turned to the best designer I know - my wife - to get the idea from my mind to paper.
She didn't disappoint. She showed me what she came up with and it was SPOT ON! :)
Once I had the design, which I kept a secret, I had to find the right tattoo parlor to go to.
I reached out to 3 or 4 shops before I found the one.
Empire Tattoo in Somerville, MA - just a mile or so from my house.
Photo Courtesy Empire Tattoo
I actually found them when they liked a picture of mine on Instagram - thanks Social Media!!
After emailing back and forth, I went in for a consultation with tattoo artists Amanda Abbott on Sunday (August 11) and knew immediately that this was the right studio and artist.
Amanda actually shed over 70 pounds herself recently ... Hello instant connection!!
We showed her the design and she was on board. We made an appointment for just over 48 hours later - Tuesday (August 13) at 3pm.
I was PSYCHED. I would've done it right then and there if she had had time. :P
On Monday (August 12), I made sure to get a nice fresh pedicure. I mean I was really doing it for Amanda. No one should have to endure staring at "runner feet."
Did I convince you all that the pedicure was a necessity? Good!
Before I knew it, it was Tuesday and I was walking through the door of Empire Tattoo. The shop is clean and each tattoo artist has their own little booth (with a door) to work in. I liked not being so out in the open like some tattoo parlors set-up.
I was calm, cool and collected which let me know this was exactly what I should be doing.
Amanda was a true professional and made the whole process painless.
Her booth was really warm and inviting with walls covered in artwork she did herself. There were some truly gorgeous pieces. The tattoo only took about 45-50 minutes to do and we chatted the whole time.
So are you ready to see the finished product?
Now you probably want to know I came up with it?
I used to watch The Biggest Loser religiously back in the day and there was a specific episode where Bob Harper told a contestant to "Stand Up And Finish What You Started." Ohhh boy did that stick with me.
So when I started my weight loss and running journey, I used that statement over and over again. It really became my mantra. I even added it to my GoSportID bracelet as a reminder.
I knew that I needed "Finish What You Started" as the centerpiece of the tattoo.
I owe huge props to a blog reader that actually noticed that the font for it is actually the same as the blog header font. I'm sorry to admit I didn't pick up on that. My wife is one clever lady isn't she? ;)
I think the top of the tattoo is pretty obvious - they represent the half marathons (13.1), triathlon (swim, bike, run) and marathons (26.2) I have conquered ... and will continue to conquer thanks to the changes I have made over the past 4+ years. :)
And finally the date - 4-15-13 - a date that will forever be engrained in my mind. For those that don't know it is the date of this year's Boston Marathon. I was lucky to cross the Finish Line that day just 1 minute before the bombs went off so I was able to Finish What I Started that day. Yet so many of my friends were not.
Oh! And to answer the biggest question - it really didn't hurt. The only spot that really hurt would be the little biker and runner dudes right on the top of my foot. The rest of the tattoo just felt kind of annoying rather than painful. Does that make sense?
There it is. My 6th and probably most meaningful tattoo I have.
And now I am symmetrical - 2 wrists, 2 ankles and 2 feet. ;)
So if you are in the Boston-Somerville-Cambridge area, I cannot recommend Empire Tattoo - and Amanda Abbott in particular - enough if you are looking to get some ink done yourself.
Tell 'em I sent ya!
Do you have any tattoos of your own? Does it hold a special place in your heart?