Friday, the New Sunday

Ahhh, I remember those leisurely weekends when I could do whatever I wanted. All day. Sleep in? No problem! Take a road trip? Let's go!

And then along came Ironman training. Six days a week of training, so far up to 15 hours per week. And rising.

Except on Fridays. My day off from training. My day of do-whatever-the-heck-I-want (except eat junk or drink too much!).

When I'm not working at the office, that is.

Even with working a full day, it still feels like a day off. It's the serenity of knowing I don't have to put in a few hours of training, squeezing it in between work and having a life. It's not that I don't enjoy the training (I do), but the stress of fitting it all in and meeting my assigned hours is what gets to me. So, on one day each week, I don't have to worry about that. I like that day a lot.

Tonight, I am spending my free time with my parents. They made me dinner (and dessert) and I'm picking my car up from my father's automotive repair shop, located in Simi Valley.

I feel spoiled. And I'm not complaining one bit. Homemade chicken with cous-cous, homemade split pea soup, and my personal weakness, My-T-Fine chocolate pudding.

I don't care what kind of training regimen I'm on, you will NOT separate me from my chocolate pudding. Period. Don't mess with my puddin'!

Of course, the conversation and relaxation with my folks is the best part. I realize how lucky I am to be able to have a close relationship with my family. We're not a perfect family, not by any stretch. But we are a tight-knit one.

I'm currently watching my dad try to play one of the video games my company develops, Ratchet & Clank Future: A Crack in Time. It's an exercise in joy and frustration. He's enraptured in the universe and deriving a great deal of joy from the experience even though his character is dying more than a zombie on Groundhog Day. Yet he keeps trying. Very rarely getting frustrated, finding excitement and insight with every new opportunity to make progress in the game.

I never thought I'd be inspired by my dad playing a PS3 game, but here I am realizing that's just what's happening. He's slogging through a new experience, one that he's admittedly not the best at. He's not giving up. He's still laughing. Still learning. Still finding the fun.

Even though my dad is the one progressing through the game, I'm the one who experienced the payoff tonight.

320 days and counting, but now I'm actually looking forward to 319.