I just read something that belongs in the Department Of All Things Profound.

“…the road to IRONMAN is paved with life.”

Bryan Reece, Ironman Athlete and Blogger (among other things)

I think I have found nothing truer about triathlon than that quote. I pulled it from Bryan Reece’s blog, Left. Right. Repeat. His story from poor health to triathlon glory caught my interest because he participated in IRONMAN Arizona 2009.

Surely I’ve mentioned several times in other posts how I participated in IMAZ 2009. At the time of that sufferfest in the Arizona desert, I didn’t know Bryan. In fact, I don’t know Bryan now and I’m sure he doesn’t know me. Yet there we were. Two athletes struggling in the same torture chamber of a race course at the same time. Not only that, Bryan was a member of the Endurance Nation training group. Me too. We’ve never met, but his one quote speaks volumes about my life for the last 15 years.

There have been so many times when my triathlon training was interrupted by work, sickness, injury, family obligations and bad excuses. All of these pave the way to a destination called IRONMAN, and just like driving along a highway, we have to navigate the bumps and potholes

I suppose the road to anything important is paved with life. How many of us have made sworn testimony on December 31st that the following year will be the year to join the gym and lose 10 extra pounds? And by March 15th, how many of us forgot the combination to our gym locker? You know what they say, “Use it or lose it.” Life gets in the way of our new year’s resolutions too.

In my opinion, triathlon is a bit special in the highway paving department. At least for me it is. Triathlon is my lifestyle. I work, I have family and I have triathlon. There are many times when work and family obligations override the need and desire to run 10 miles. Being the family blacksmith means putting shoes on horses when they need them even if that means blowing out my leg muscles and canceling a workout.

My long term goal is to qualify for the IRONMAN World Championship in Kona, HI. That goal is so far in the future that I don’t even have a date for it yet. But I do have more intermediate goals, such as finishing a half iron race quicker than five hours and 45 minutes. The next race on my calendar for testing that goal is IRONMAN 70.3 Indian Wells, December 5, 2021.

According to my training plan, the road to Indian Wells is straight and freshly paved. But here’s where I need to quote Robert Burns,

“The best laid schemes o’ mice an’ men. Gang aft a-gley

Robert Burns from his poem, “To a Mouse”

Translation: “The best laid plans can still go wrong”

When the path to anything important is obscured by life’s interruptions, we need to be ready with creative alternatives: contingencies. I wrote about this in a recent post concerning lost luggage. History repeats itself and so does LG.

I guess the real purpose of this post is to thank Mr. Reece for that elegant quote. I’m sorry we didn’t meet all those years ago on the battlefield called IRONMAN Arizona.

Until next time…

Stay to the right, pass on the left and keep on smiling
 

Published by LG

LG found the triathlon lifestyle after years of calling himself soldier, cowboy, philosopher, scientist... "Triathlete" may be the last title he ever needs (after husband and father).

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