Saturday, December 15, 2012

Important Things

In writing this blog I was torn about whether to include anything in regard to the horrendous shooting that occurred in Connecticut.  It is extremely emotional and I did not want to offend those who were trying to avoid seeing another reference to it.  However, it is too important not to mention. 

When I found out about the shootings on Friday I was at my desk and saw the report on the internet.  I actually teared up and started crying.  I had just dropped my 5 year old at school a couple hours earlier and had such empathy for the parents in Connecticut that my emotions took over.  I then called our good friends in Connecticut.  I knew her kids were in another district miles from Newtown but I just had to make sure everything was fine with them. My friend was at her kid's school when she answered and you could hear the emotion in her voice.  But at least we knew her family was ok.    After making the call I had to fight every urge to run out of my office and go pick up my daughter. The rest of Friday and today have been very emotional.  My wife was also deeply affected..even more so than me.  Not only do we have a five year old but we have gone through the shock and horror of having a loved one taken by the act of another.  We relived the emotions that we went through when we found out my brother had been killed by a drunk driver and the sheer helplessness and despair.  I know I will be shedding more tears over the victims, probably a lot more but hopefully I can do something to either honor them or make this world a better place for the survivors.  Our thoughts and prayers are with all of those affected by the shooting..the families, students, siblings, first responders and all of those who were deeply affected, even if they were thousands of miles away.

What does the event have to do with a blog that is purportedly about triathlon? Nothing..and everything.  The event once again put into perspective what is important in life and how precious our time with our loved ones is.  Triathlon training, especially for longer distances, is a very time intensive endeavor and often times a solo endeavor.   Decisions have to be made as to how to spend one's limited time.  Having a full time job and family further cuts into that training time or family time. 

The last two weeks I have felt a bit guilty about not doing my long training on Saturday.  The first week I went to a Christmas play with my wife, daughter and her friends for her birthday..the second week I attended Disney on Ice with my daughter and wife.  The events of Friday just reinforced that I made the right decisions.  My time and memories with my family and friends far outweigh  my training.  I am never going to be a top age grouper or heck..maybe not even a consistent middle of the pack guy. In the overall scheme of things..triathlon and training aren't that important.

However, I do enjoy triathlon training, especially when I can do it with friends.  I much rather go against the wisdom of coaches and sages who say not to do group workouts if they are fundamentally different then your workout and instead train on your own..but the camaraderie is what I enjoy.  The fun and memories are more important to me than my individual success.  Don't get me wrong..I have goals this year that I will share with everyone come January..but those goals are personal and tailored to what is importnat to me.

On Wednesday Kompetitive Edge released their list of sponsored athletes for the 2013 season.  The team is limited and they sponsor some of the best athletes in the country.  I am lucky enough to know some of these people personally.  I started scrolling down the list looking for people I knew...Oh..he's good..she is fantastic..and she is relentless..and this one was an olympic medalist and this guy is a slow fat some screw up KE put my name on the list.  I have waited three days and the list has not been revised or rescinded so now legally they have to sponsor me. (At least that is what I am going to tell them).

Honestly I was very excited on Wednesday when I saw my name.  I did actually check the list multiple time to make sure I had not misread it.  Needless to say I was pretty happy.

However the events of Friday hit me so hard that I thought about calling Ryan at Kompetitive Edge to tell him that I did not want the spot.  I thought about my big race plans and the fact that it would take away from family time and my loved ones and thus I would not be able to put the effort in that is necessary to meet my goals  and make my family and sponsors proud.

I mentioned this to my wife waiting for the nod of approval and instead she quickly smacked me outside the head.  She reminded me how much happier I am when I am fit as well as how much happier she is.  She also reminded me that we have a daughter that  when asked what she wants to do mostly says..swimming..or a bike ride ..or run because of the example we are setting.  She mentioned the great places we have gone as a family to do triathlons and the people we have met.  All valid points. Thus I am proud to say I will be on the Kompetitive Edge team this year.  I will find that balance between family and training..but honestly I will tend to lean toward the family side. I do see some early morning training in the future..which I dread.  My family and friends are what are important to me..but it turns out that for the most part triathlon is part of that family experience and not a detractor.

I want to thank Jared and Ryan at Kompetitive Edge for giving me a chance to be on an elite team.  Jared and Ryan are the heart and soul of Kompetitie Edge and it shows that they not only care about elite athletes but the everyday athletes that most of us are.  If you ever need anything swim, bike or run related be sure to contact them.  Further, the advice they can supply you with is priceless.

So take care everyone.  Hug your loved ones a little tighter this holiday season and decide what is really important in your life and make it a priority everyday.  Lastly please keep the victims and their families in your prayers and thoughts..and honor them by being the best human being you can be towards others.  Try to bring a smile to someone everyday. 

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