Inspired Exhaustion

I'm going on 11 hours of sleep spanning two-and-a-half days. I partied with my LA Tri Club and Fortius friends until 10 tonight.

I'm done. Tired.  Spent.  A short but hard work and training week is over.  Tomorrow I have the day off work for a company outing, which I can't wait for: Ironman 2!

Yep, that's how my company rolls!

I capped the week off in style though, taking Stephanie's and my friend Erin to the LA Tri Club's First Thursday event in Sherman Oaks.  It was a record crowd, close to 85 attended.  Watching a newcomer experience the LA Tri Club was a special treat for me.  Erin was truly inspired by everyone's enthusiasm, positive outlook and high energy.  She said the club represents the kind of people she would like to surround herself with, and I couldn't agree more.

I remember a few years ago after my first 5k race seeing an LA Tri Club tent and thinking, "Those guys are crazy!  Who has the time for that kind of training?!"

Now I know I've discovered a lifestyle for a lifetime.  Something that keeps me feeling younger and stronger as when I was in high school.

I'm eager for Erin to experience that same joy.

My evening revelry served as the perfect bookend for an equally inspiring morning.  After a strong swim with the Fortius team (including a 3:11 timed 200), I went home to ride on the bike trainer for 40 minutes.  One DVD made an ordinary ride anything but: The Ford Ironman Kona 2009 World Championships recap.  If you don't own this, buy it.  If you've seen it on YouTube, buy the real thing.

Watching the pros battle in the heat and learning about some of the other truly tear-jerking stories from random competitors swelled my heart with adrenaline and optimism.  I got the DVD as a consolation prize for not being selected to the 2010 Ironman Kona lottery, but I didn't realize how valuable a prize this video would be.  It will serve as my visual Bible for the next several months -- teaching, inspiring, illuminating in deeper and deeper ways every day.  I can relate to each athlete's struggle to overcome their own personal adversity to achieve something most other people will never comprehend.

Well, almost.  One athlete featured is a double-leg amputee who is a nationally recognized triathlete.

No matter how much I hurt or think I hurt, that guy has had it worse.  I will try to complain far less and always keep him in mind when I'm sore, frustrated or just not feelin' it.

So after a long string of days, after being so tired right now my 1,000-yard-stare has a 1,000-yard stare, I wish I could bottle up all the optimism and excitement blasting through my veins.  I know I'll need it for other days down the line.

Or maybe I can just resolve to have more optimistic and exciting days?

203 days and counting.