Invictus is an average movie but I'd still call it a must-see. Not because of the acting or the story, but because of the message.
And when I say message, I really mean one line of one poem. The poem that bears the movie's name. The line is from Mandela's favorite poem, Invictus. The quote: "Master of my fate... captain of my soul."
That line is deeply inspirational, but I wonder if it's truly attainable.
Everyone wants to captain a piece of your soul, or thinks they have a right to own it. Your family. Your friends. Your co-workers. Your boss. The tax man. And more.
But do they? Who's in charge, really? Whose ship is it? Whose fate?
Are you the captain of your soul or master of your fate? Have you always been? If so, I salute you, because that is hard work. I've had moments in my life where I've exerted that control, including Ironman training. But each of these watershed moments for me came or is coming at a great cost. Even when you win, you lose. Either in relationships, lost time, or letting down someone's expectations.
Yet I don't regret any of it. Not in my Ironman training. Not in other aspects of my life. My only real regret is not being a more steadfast captain of my soul more often.
Today's Valley Coach group training kicked my ass. Plain and simple. It started with a 13-mile Boney Mountain trail run (pictured) in Pt. Mugu State Park near Newbury Park. If you're looking for a challenging trail run, this is it. In fact, if you like running hills, this is really it. But the scenery is stunning and ranks high on my list of sights to see in my ever-growing list of "Hidden Awesome in SoCal."
Complicating matters were the new heart rate zones Coach Gerardo re-arranged for me. I wasn't sure how they'd affect my training, but in short, they've slowed me down. Apparently, I was working too hard on my Griffith Park run last week, and this did the trick in keeping me in check. Though the hills made that more difficult and forced me to walk more than I'm used to or comfortable doing. But this is how base training works, so I played along.
Fortunately, no soreness to report during the run. Not as fortunate following the run, and my subsequent swim after the movie (1,450 yards in a shortened 35-minute workout as the pool was closing for the night). I'm sprawled out on the couch writing this, with hardly any energy left to even get up. I'm totally cooked.
Too bad though, because tomorrow calls for a 50-mile group ride and an hour of yoga after.
Master of my fate? Captain of my ship?
While I may be the master, Ironman is the captain. No doubt about that.
333 days and counting.