I've come to realize, over the past 18 months now, that good enough is sometimes good enough. And me at 85% is still better than some people at 100%.
There will always be people greater and lesser than you. With more time. More money. Less obligations.
Some with a road much harder, and some with a road much easier.
But part of the reason I love this sport is because it's such a good metaphor for life. Triathlon is, simply, what you put into it. You are ultimately competing against yourself. You know your strengths, and you know your weaknesses. A good triathlon is hard by nature; there's no such thing as an easy Ironman. Or 70.3. We don't really want it that way, to be honest.
That's not why we're here.
In the midst of this whirlwind past four months, I've burned the midnight oil getting work done only to get up at 4:45am to work out, so that I could kiss my little boy and feed him his oatmeal before I went to work. So that I could take him to the park or read him stories after work. It's easy to feel like I'm not accomplishing enough. It's in my nature to do so, and I think it's in many of our natures as well.
Am I good enough?
Am I doing this right?
So I fall down occasionally. Dinner gets burned or sometimes comes from a box. A workout gets cut short. Papers get a check mark.
But every once in a while, I get a reminder that I am, indeed, doing this right.
Watching my Bug run and laugh.
Crossing the finish line at the Columbus Marathon.
Getting off my bike at Steelhead.
I'm reminded again and again, that I'm capable of more than I know. That as frantic as my days can be, I'm lucky enough to do all of it by choice. There are many people out there who would love a job right now--any job--and I have one that I love. There are some who can't run around the block, and I get to run around the French Quarter this weekend.
So all of this has me just kinda thinking this time around.
Under normal circumstances, i.e. SUMMER TRAINING, I'd have my game plan all ready to go and a clear gauge of what I wanted to do on each discipline. But I really don't this time.
I know, without a doubt, I haven't spent as much time in the pool as I'd like to. In the summer, I live in the Lake and the pool, but it's been rough getting there more than twice a week. I've ridden outside twice in the past four months. My running is strong, but will it be strong after 56 miles?
But experience has got to count for something. That's what I'm banking on here. This will be my fourth half-ironman distance. Maybe I don't need my training wheels as much anymore.
Bug will be 18 months next week, and his favorite thing to do is run run run and climb and jump as much as possible. And he squirms whenever we're outside and I'm holding him, or when he wants to go down the stairs. He just wants to do it himself. I'm sad to admit it...but...
...he doesn't need me like he used to.
And I know that this is how it goes. They get bigger; they want to run. Run to the school bus and to football games and play practice and then to college halfway around the country. And you have to let them go, and trust that you've done the best you can. That you've done all you can. Even if you don't feel like it's enough.
Because if you've done your job, than you have done enough. They will take it from there.
I'm going to put my faith in my training, my experience, and my growth over these past 4 months. I know I haven't done everything, but I've done everything I possibly could have without sacrificing the amazing things I've got going here.
As I casually mentioned today that they'd have a sub for a few days to my students, one asked why. I told them. They asked a few funny questions, including, "Are you going to win?"
I laughed. "No, Nick...I'm not going to win."
He seemed a little puzzled.
"I'm not going to win," I attempted to explain. "I'm going to beat me."
And with that, I'm off to New Orleans.