A Special Birthday

It's 6 a.m. on your birthday.  Do you:

A) Smack the clock and go back to sleep

B) Jump in the pool with your training teammates

C) Lock the front door after getting in from a long night of drinking

I went with B) this morning.  And it set the tone for a fantastic birthday.  One of my all-time favorites, in fact.  Though that had little to do with training.  The past couple years, circumstances have prevented Stephanie and I from spending my birthday together.  Today that would change, as it will for hopefully every remaining birthday.  After a Black Dog yoga session that included some inverted wall poses, Steph and I spent the afternoon together, hanging out at Paradise Cove in Malibu and now she's cooking a gourmet feast -- boeuf bourguignon.  I'm a lucky guy!  Make that a VERY lucky guy.

Usually, this is about the time that I devote a few hours to reflect on the past year and think about what I hope to accomplish in the year ahead.  Honestly, I never could have predicted a year ago where my life would be today.  I was reeling from not being with Stephanie and still really just getting my proverbial feet wet in the sport of triathlon.  Now, I'm engaged to the woman I've always loved since before we were dating and I'm training like mad for my first Ironman.  I look and feel like a different person.

What will 36 bring?  Oh, you know, besides a wedding and an Ironman!  Well, in thinking about things, I've grown a lot over the past year.  I think I'm a little more relaxed, a little more confident, a little more competitive.  A lot more grateful.  Perhaps a little wiser.  Maybe even a bit softer around the edges (I hope).  I feel like my own man, though it may have taken a little longer than expected.

Thirty-five was a year of growth and maturation.  I hope 36 brings more of the same, with a killer Ironman Arizona (maybe one more too?) time and a warm, unforgettable wedding.

Is that so much to ask?

Actually, in my renewed state of being, I'll start with a fantastic tomorrow that's unforgettable and productive.  I'll start by encouraging others to be their best, while doing my best too.  One day at a time.  If anything, my Ironman training has taught me that.

162 days and counting.