"Two roads diverged in a wood, and I--
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference."
--Robert Frost, "The Road Not Taken"
Each and every one of us must make a decision, every day, that will impact the course of that day, week, month, year, decade, or lifetime. More often than not, we choose the road that is more traveled by, the safe methodology; we yearn for the safety that comes with the choice taken by most. Safety in numbers; the pack mentality.
But life is not meant to be easy.
Instead, life is a journey; an arduous struggle against which we reflect back upon and think, "Wow. What a ride this has been."
And this is where my story begins.
As I have mentioned previously on the blog, I have been thrilled with my first season's results in the triathlon world. But am I satisfied? No. It is this fire that burns within me that drives me.
So what is that fire? I think that Jordan Rapp, in his speech after winning Ironman Canada, said it best:
I think that...Ironman represents a star. The road to Ironman is not easy. And that is what makes it special...Ironman is the sort of momentous -- but terrestrial -- experience that allows us, ever so briefly, to get close enough to the stars to reach out and touch the heavens.
It's not runner's high. That's not close enough to it. It is an overwhelming moment to see the crowds out, cheering, coming down the finishing chute. It is the sense of wonder of, "how far did I go in one day?" There is nothing like this anywhere else in the world, just as there is nothing like the sense of flying down a chute in a glade, untouched snow all around you. For a moment, it allows you to touch heaven.
And this journey is not easy. In skiing, we fall. In racing, we cramp, crumble, and fall apart. And there is an inherent risk involved. But that is what allows it to be what it is. It would not be the same experience if it were easy. As John F. Kennedy said at Rice University, "We choose to do...the other things, not only because they are easy, but because they are hard..."
Triathlon is my opportunity to touch the stars. Because of my weight issues growing up, I never was competitive in any sport. I now see my chance. I refuse to sit back someday and wonder, "what if I..." This is my chance to see what I have.
So with that in mind, I set forth on my journey: both as an athlete with racing ambitions in mind (more in that in a moment), but also as a sponge, hoping to learn as much as possible so that I may eventually pass that knowledge onto others as a coach. As such, I will be coached by Doug Welling of The Sustainable Athlete.
Furthermore, I've decided that 2012 will be another season at the 70.3 distance, to get faster. I have dreams in this sport, and that means I need to get faster. A fair bit faster. And this is why I have hired Doug; to help me make the right hard decisions, and to help broaden my knowledge base.
For 2012, I will attack Rev3 Quassy and Timberman 70.3 again. I wish to find out how I fare at these courses again. 2013 is my tentative Ironman year; the year where I will shoot for the heavens.
So for now, it is back to Earth. The groundwork must be laid. Going to the stars did not happen overnight. It must be built through work, diligence, and respect for the task at hand.
I'm ready to begin.