As race day draws nearer, there’s slightly more time to think back on the preparation and a little more on the year gone by since TotalSports Challenge 2011. It’s been a busy year. At last count, approximately 35 races were attended of which some were swims, others were trail runs, other MTBs, and then a good few multisport events. It was a good year. No, it was a phenomenal year!
Part of the goal with reflection is to put planning for the future into perspective- in addition to just soaking up the glow of memories. So, what next? To be sure, +35 races certainly wasn’t a goal of any sort. It just happened, spontaneously. I signed up for one race, and before I knew it, there was another one. Then another, and then another. Pretty soon, we were sporting around the country (world!) enjoying the time away as a family- with a bit of racing inbetween. The details are fuzzy, the memories spectacular. And as we set off on 2012, the race count ticks away. 2 weekends down, 2 races in the barn. But what’s that all about….?
Training, racing and getting out there is just a way of being. There’s no real point to prove. Big-talking is comic relief through irony. And I can big-talk with the best. Sure, when you race, you race. There is no second place. Victory. But for a lot of us, Victory is just getting to the finish line, sometimes even just the start line.
Life could have been very different for me. In parallel universes, I:
* ended up face down in a driveway with either .38 or .45
* was buried after a short life and battle with malaria/meningitis
* audited accounting records for a corporate ++just kidding
* was sentenced to years in jail in either Ecuador, Colombia or Argentina
* raced as a professional triathlete
* trained under the watchful eye of Sifu Zhong of the Northern Shaolin Masters in Siberia
* retreated to Nepal to take up the battle for the Tibetan people and encountering Enlightenment
* was jailed (or worse) in the middle east for preaching The Word
Bah! Parallel universes. What’s done is done and dusted. Instead, I got something way more awesome than any of the above combined, multiplied and raised to a significant prime number happening right now. Well, the good parts at any rate. And that’s why I race. Victory. For the family unit. For being a husband and a dad. For taking on life, even charging life and coming out victorious.
And the race is not mine alone mind you. I share it with my my wife, my kids, my family, my friends, my training partners, my racing snakes; even that random citizen commuting on his bike back home (I’m going to catch you!). Every race is for all of you, all of us. A celebration of the life we have, the life we live. Not everyone has the right/privilege/opportunity/ability/resources. So if you do, make the most of it- don’t squander it.
And then one step beyond that: to all dads and husbands out there leading a family… step out into the world, pursue a vigorous and active life; with your wife, with your kids; together. There’s a dimension of living beyond the TV set, the Playstation, the shopping mall that will bond and grow your family in ways unimagined.
So rest assured, when I line up at the start, I’m gunning for #1. Victory. Regardless. I expect you to do the same. Regardless. Who will win? Time will tell, but I’m ready; iTrainedToday. Did you?