As my allotted time ticks away I’ve come to view my life as a series of short stories. The tales may all have the same author and the observant eye may detect commonalities, but each story has its own opening sentence and final punctuation mark. I’ve discovered that the trick to a happy successful life is recognizing when to end one story and when to start another.
A good gambler pushes away from the table before the deck goes sour – anybody can walk away from a poker table broke, and every once in a while even the most inept player takes the jackpot, but on balance it’s the guy with a good nose and the discipline to act on his instincts that wins the big game. You gotta know when to let go, when to move on.
As the Couer d’Alene Ironman quickly approaches I realize that the endurance sports phase of my life is quickly coming to an end. For the past twenty years I’ve considered higher, further, longer to be better: if you’re going to climb, climb the high mountains, if you’re going to run triathlons run the Ironman.
I don’t have a lot of natural athletic ability but I am mentally strong - I can pedal a bike for ten straight hours, and I can haul a big pack up a snow slope as good as anyone – and this is why I gravitated towards the go long instead of the go fast endeavors. Unfortunately, however, being able to push through boredom and pain is a double-edged sword. Your mind tells you to stop long before your body really needs to, and so the line between being smart and being a pussy becomes blurred. Every successful endurance athlete has pushed through pain and obviously it is possible to push too far.
Perhaps I have pushed too far; perhaps it’s time to start another story