Times Change

10 years ago tonight, I was in San Francisco, partying on the beach all night and into the next day. It was among the wildest of nights.

Tonight, 10 years later, I'm at my parents' home. Just them, some family friends, and me. It is among the mildest of nights.

Yet I'm content. It's an interesting measuring stick of where I've been the past decade. Whether it's perspective, experience, wisdom and even some financial security, I've definitely gained a lot. And whether it's the loss of some good friends (Brian and Jason immediately come to mind), a girlfriend (OK, a few) a family member (grandpa), some naivete or innocence, I've definitely lost, too.

I cycled in the wind for a couple hours today with Frank (before I dropped a refrigerator on him helping him move, but that's another story for another time), and this is what I thought about.

What did I learn this past decade? How would I categorize the last 10 years of my life?

After much introspection, I think years 25-35 can be categorized as the decade where I asserted my independence. I found my own voice. I became my own person. I accepted myself for me.

It has been a hard road to find that voice and become this person. I haven't always liked what I've seen. And changing can be a real bitch. But the journey sure as hell has been worth it.

I wonder what the next 10 years will bring? Will triathlons continue to be a centerpiece in my life or a fad, like kart racing, martial arts and tennis? Will I finally settle down with the person I'm supposed to marry? Will I marry at all? Raise a family? Travel the world?

I have no idea.

What I do know is that for the next 11 months, I will train for Ironman Arizona. I will spend an inordinate amount of time in the pool, running on trails, and cycling all over the Southland. And since most of that time will be spent without iPods and much conversation, I will have plenty of time to think. To grow. To learn. To comprehend. To appreciate.

Right now, I need that.

So, I enter 2010 with many more questions than answers.

But I'm excited to see what happens next. What's around the corner. What the next lap will bring. What's on the other side of the hill.

328 days and counting.