“If I can do it, you can do it,” Jay Hewitt said with his arms around his 5-year-old at the finish line of his own personal Ironman triathlon. “Thinking about you gave me the strength to keep going.”

He wasn’t talking about the Ironman, in which he had just completed 140.6 miles of life-threatening endurance in 14 hours, 45 minutes. He was talking about life, and overcoming even the most devastating things humanity can throw at you.