Thursday, April 29, 2010

Where Did That Smile Come From?

What a great run !! The tempo just built and built like a good movie and when it was over there was a joy and thankfulness that sometimes come with a workout well done.

Driving home in my truck, thinking of nothing important in particular, I noticed that I was smiling. At first I felt a little stupid and I wondered what folks that I passed must have thought about this old geezer grinning, going down the road. Then smiling even broader at my smiling, it sort of hit me. I am happy. I am at peace with myself, others and God. I am happy.

Presently, I have all kinds of dragons and demons to face, I didn't hit the lottery and I surely don't have near enough money. Everyone in my family is not healthy. Things are a long way from being perfect in my life, but God has given me reason to be happy; a reason to smile.

So if you see someone grinning to himself as he drives down the road, don't laugh. He just may be happy and it may just be me.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Feed the Spirit

There is a story some have heard about an old Indian telling the young Indian about two wolves: a bad wolf and a good wolf. The wolves are always struggling and fighting. The young Indian asks the old Indian which Wolf wins and the answer is "the one you feed."

My 95 year old Mother was asked by a doctor today whether she wanted a scooter or some more treatment to try to partially repair her bad knees. Without wavering she said "more treatment." She had the choice of resignation or to continue to "feed her spirit."

We all have that choice; everyday when the training gets tough, when the hill is hard, when the wind is in our face forever, when stuff hurts in a race and we just don't think we can continue to go forward: we can "feed our spirits" or resign to a lesser self. I think I know which choice God would be proud of.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Bitten by a Dog

Today as I was trying to get out of the town, I rat terrier cross ran toward me barking. It didn't chase but went straight for the leg and bit me. I was enraged ! The owner was in the yard hollering for the dog to come back, but I have never known a dog owner's hollering to ever have made a dog come back. Actually, I think the hollering only inflames the dogs to more purposeful attacks.

The owner was confronted and I was shown where the dog had its shots. After many apologies from the owner, I left. But, my zeal for a great bike ride today was blunted. All that remained was the smoldering ruins of my anger.

Now to put all this behind me; recapture my soaring spirit; just give it to God and move on to "the race set before me."

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Ya Gotta Believe

Swam a mile and a quarter this morning nonstop. Was going to do a 50 minute run this afternoon but it just isn't there. The past two training days have been great. Today, however, I am beat.

When the distances of my event are considered through this haze of fatigue, it seems impossible. 1.2 mile swim 56 mile bike and a half marathon run seems quite daunting. But I believe that the half Ironman is in me, to be nurtured and coaxed through training and somehow, race morning will find me fit for this challenge.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

To Train or Not to Train, That is the Question

After 3 weeks of diminished training and focus, I set out yesterday with a resolve to begin more purposeful training. It was like kicking a wasp nest. "The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune" seemed to rise to the occasion to beat back my hope. It wasn't a perfect day but it was a day I did not give in and that was a small victory in itself. I pray today for another small victory.

"Society everywhere is in conspiracy against the manhood of its members." Emerson

Monday, April 19, 2010

Singing My Song

Perhaps, I started back training too heavily from convalesence following rotator cuff surgery. For the last three days, I have been burned out and burned up. Today, I finally have the energy in my legs again. But, more importanly: I finally have the will and the "want to." Yesterday, I could not imagine finishing an olympic distance triathlon. The birds are really singing out there this morning urging me to add my own song of life into the world.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Caught From Behind

Coming home from swimming 2000 yards it all caught up with me. I knew I had been overdoing it and I knew that like a slower runner in the lead, that sooner or later I would get caught from behind.

Fatigue is systemic. As the expression goes, "I am poured out like water." It is a "bone marrow' tired that I just can't seem to push through today. So today, I must confess to my humanity, my vulnerabilities and get some rest.

It is these times that give the good training days a richer meaning and a greater appreciation. It is the depth of the valleys that make climbing the mountains the exhilarating experience I seek. Thank God for the whole experience.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Pool Inspiration

Yesterday as I entered the pool area of the gym, I saw a woman swimming laps. What great form she had. She did some laps using the breast stroke, then some with the back stroke and moved so smoothly through the water. Her stroke cadence seemed especially high and I thought that she wouldn't last long going like that.

However, even after I had swam 800 yards the lady was still at it, never backing off a bit from that cadence. What an athlete I thought! How does she do that? She lapped me so many times I stopped trying to keep up. I had almost swam a mile when she finally got out of the pool. What an inspiration!

Most of the time I am the best swimmer in that particular pool-not because I am all that good- and it is me lapping the others. A lot of the usual swimmers are there just doing their best to muddle through for the exercise. No disrespect to these swimmers but next to them, I might seem a pretty good swimmer- big fish; little pond. It might seem a bit strange but it was so good to be humbled a bit; to know, to fully realize the capacity for performance that is there and to be provided a model of athleticism to be inspired and motivated from. No surprise then that this day my cadence went up considerably and I swam a half mile more than I had planned on.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Positive Deception

Windy bike ride yesterday but I seemed to be going really well. In fact, my speed was really exceptional even going into the wind. Then I remembered that the battery in my bike computer had just been changed and perhaps it had defaulted to measuring speed in KMs? Sure enough. But, the strength of spirit instilled by this positive deception was still with me. I had begun to believe something greater about myself.

It was a reminder, yet again, that the quality of our performance, the quality of our lives is determined pretty much by what we believe is possible and what we believe about ourselves.

Perhaps the mistake in measurement on my bike computer was not a mistake at all but a vision of the possibilities God has invested in me?