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Maggie Swanson and Tad Weiss at the Finish Line after their Most Recent Race (June 2022)

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Racing to Recovery

A Celebration of Perseverance, Recovery, & Family

Tad Weiss and Maggie Swanson are no ordinary father daughter duo. They work together as financial planners at Modus Advisors, train for triathlons together, and have overcome great adversity together.

During the summer of 2014 when Maggie was in college, she went abroad to Spain. Ten days into her program, she was struck by a city bus while out running. The impact caused her to be thrown 25 meters. For reference, 25 meters is the length of a swimming pool. It is a bona fide miracle she survived. Tad and his wife Wendy set up a CaringBridge site for others to follow Maggie’s recovery, and the Weiss family was flooded with support and prayers from friends, but also from strangers. Tad has a book chronicling Maggie’s road to recovery and the village of people who supported her which will be on shelves August of 2022.

Surviving such an accident is one thing, but to thrive after one is a different thing entirely.

Maggie was cleared to start running just four months after the accident. Running became part of her mental and physical recovery. Tad had done triathlons years prior, culminating in the first Ironman Wisconsin in 2002, but thought Maggie may want to do one as well and encouraged her to bike and swim. Together they raced an Olympic Distance triathlon in Maple Grove. Maggie did so well she qualified for nationals and then qualified for worlds. In 2017 she started to train full time.

2017 proved to be a big year in other ways as well. In October of 2017 Maggie started working at Modus Advisors. She had expressed an interest in the business and Tad thought she may be a good fit, but wanted to make certain she knew what she was getting herself into. She learned the business from the ground up and is now a Certified Financial Planner working with clients, in some respects following in her father’s footsteps. 

It has to be difficult balancing careers, family, and training, but somehow Tad and Maggie fit it all in. Maggie credits the whole family for their successes. “My husband Paul and my Mom have been so great with all of it. So supportive.” She also adds that her dad has been “great at carving time out of his day to make it more convenient for me.” This includes some early morning swims before the rest of us have woken up. 

When Maggie completed the Ironman triathlon last year and took 10th, it was more than a great performance. Tad said it felt “like the culmination of her healing.”  This achievement was a mark of progress their whole family had been working toward. It sparked an idea in Tad. A big idea. This dynamic father and daughter duo is set to race together in the 20th anniversary Ironman Wisconsin triathlon this September. A competition, but also a celebration. Of perseverance. Of recovery. Of family. 

Tad’s bigger idea extended beyond what they could do for themselves: Could they compete and raise money for multiple charities near and dear to them? Of course they could. They set a lofty goal of raising $500,000 to be donated to four different organizations. And they are well on their way to achieving this goal.

Clearly Maggie is not only blessed with athletic ability and an incredible work ethic, but also a positive attitude. She marvels at how it has all unfolded. “It’s amazing. God brought so much good out of what seemed to be a bad thing.” 

Tad agrees. “You’re going to go through something in life, either you have or you will, and there are different ways to react to it when that happens. We give thanks to God and give the glory to Him for saving Maggie’s life and allowing us to do these races together. That’s why we are doing it. Giving back to others in need is our way of saying thanks.” 

The parenting journey is never over, even when the children are adults. Clearly not every parent and child are able to stay close, and I was curious if Tad had any insight to how they have managed it so gracefully.

“I always tried to make sure it was about them, and not me trying to relive my life through them. But it was awesome when my children took an interest in some of the sports that I also loved, and for me, there is nothing better than doing a sport with your kids. Some of my happiest days were the ones when my kids passed me by and became better than me; in skiing, basketball, or triathlon.” 

Perhaps the lesson we learn from Tad and Maggie is to put one foot in front of the other, no matter our age or circumstance.

To follow their journey or support their fundraising efforts, check out their website at 25meters.com.

  • Father and Daughter Maggie Swanson and Tad Weiss
  • Maggie in the ICU After Her Accident
  • Tad Cheers Maggie on During the Wisconsin Ironman Race in September of 2021
  • Tad and Maggie Complete the 2015 Red, White, & Boom Half Marathon One Year After Maggie's Accident
  • Maggie Swanson and Tad Weiss at the Finish Line after their Most Recent Race (June 2022)
  • The Bus that Struck Maggie While She Was Studying Abroad in Spain