Sunday, November 8, 2009

Going to Clearwater

Thank you for the overwhelming amount of support I have received since falling off my bike last week and breaking a rib. Everyone’s collective concern and the disappointment expressed was appreciated. However, I need to first apologize. A couple days after my self-inflicted accident, I told too many people that if I could not compete at 100%, if I did not think I had a chance at being in the top 5, I was going to drop out of the 70.3 World Championship on November 14.

How ridiculous! That goes against everything I talk about in my speech and with the people I mentor. What kind of role model is that? If I only entered races when I felt 100%, I would never enter a race. In this competition, finishing is winning. Doing the best one can for that day is the goal. It is about the journey, not the destination. What was I thinking? Maybe the fall rattled my brain and I wasn’t thinking at the time. I ran into my training buddy Jack Spartz last week and he unknowingly brought me back to reality. Jack, as I write this, just finished the swim in the Florida Ironman in a speedy 1:05:31, rode the bike leg in 5:34:12, and is still out on the run. When I asked Jack last week what his goal was for today’s race, he told me it was just to finish. He went on to say that he was competing in the race with his brother who is recovering from a stroke and would be with him in spirit. His comment reminded me that the triathlon, like life, is only about being the best you can be.

While the ribs have been sore and I still have had trouble getting in and out of bed, I continued to train over the past 10 days. I just did not know what to do with myself. Now, with six days to go, I am comfortable that I can safely swim, bike and run the distance. So, I have decided to go to Clearwater and compete next Saturday and enjoy every minute of being in a World Championship. And I promise everyone two things. First, I will go out on Saturday with one objective…to do my best. Second, there will be no excuses.

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