The harder it is to get out of bed, the bigger the reward for doing so.
It rained hard last night throughout Los Angeles. HARD. So, once again, early this morning my bed was cozy and the room was super dark. Just the way I like it.
Oh yeah, and it's Sunday. The Day G-d invented for NFL football.
But, training beckoned. So did Coach Gerrardo's brother, Rey. The elder Barrios was leading a small group of Valley Coach and LA Triathlon Club athletes (pictured) on a jaunt through what's called the Nike trail. Surprisingly, it's not an ode to Phil Knight's company, but rather an homage to an ominous monument from the Cold War. It's hard to imagine a time when the US Army felt a need to have missile stations watching over Los Angeles in fear of a Soviet attack. But there the restored structure stands, complete with a creepy abandoned watch post station just off the main trail, along with educational signs. When I walked up the small hill towards the missile launcher, I could almost feel the tension that seemed to choke some of the fresh air out of the crisp morning.
And crisp it was. My fellow LA Tri Clubbers and Valley Coach teammates laughed about the steam rising from our bodies in the 55-degree chill (Weather Wuss alert!) after the scenic 11-mile birds-eye tour overlooking the San Fernando Valley. But it was so worth it. I've lived in SoCal my whole life and in the short few years I've been training for triathlons, I've been delighted to see a side of greater Los Angeles that I didn't think existed.
There's still nature here! Paradise hasn't quite been completely paved, and that parking lot, well, there's still a lot of trails and gravel left to explore.
On a cold, wet, Sunday morning, I couldn't be happier I rolled out of bed early. I hope the next time you're contemplating turning over in that comfy bed to get a few more hours of marginal, guilt-ridden sleep, you'll think first of the unseen world in your backyard that's waiting to be enjoyed.
Rise up. Launch yourself out of bed. You won't regret it. And who knows what hidden monuments you may find.
345 days and counting.