Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Given to Fly: Taper Week

And sometimes is seen a strange spot in the sky
A human being that was given to fly...
He's flying whole...
--Pearl Jam

Here we are. 12 weeks removed from Rev3 Quassy, it's time to go again.

Timberman is this week, and it's the race that I have been most excited for. I've also been dreading it.

How can you want something so badly, yet want to run far, far away from it? It's about this time last year that I signed myself up for this endeavor known as long-course triathlon racing. As I've detailed before, there's a whole lot going on upstairs this past year.

So here we are. The culmination of a year's worth of work. I put up a post detailing why I race here on CTB, but I don't think I really went into the why. Sure, I race for the memory of people. But there's so much more to it than that.

I race my ass off in grief. I put myself in absolute misery because it's the only way I know how to deal with the emotional stuff. I need to work it out; feel the physical ache, muscles crying out with tears that I kept closed from coming out of my eyes. I ride with anger out of the opportunities that I never had to say the things that I wanted to. I say them now, and it feels so hollow.

When I'm in this state of physical, arduous labor, it is when I feel that I have truly made my connection with those that I've lost. Is it selfish? Probably. But it's what I need to get going. Some people need to talk things out. I need to swim, bike, and run them out. This is my therapy.

Of course, I race for myself. I race to kick ass, take names, light the competitive fire, and further my own goals. I WILL be good at this.

But it is these extra emotional components that keep the fire burning. Triathlon's an emotional experience. It's why I cried at the end of Quassy. It's why I'll probably bawl at the line on Sunday. I get to honor my family and friends in a way that I don't otherwise know. I'm not the best people person; I stumble through things. I'm a blunt instrument. But this gives me that outlet.

So with that in mind: Kermit the Felt is packed. Everything is ready to go. It is now time to fly.

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