I was on the trainer for an hour and to kill the time, I called up my DVR list of recorded programs and saw an old friend in the queue.
It was a poignant reminder of a message I will need to keep in my head every day through November 21, 2010: Never give up.
Despite the intensity of the trainer session, highlighted by 30 minutes of HR zone 3 riding in a bigger gear than usual, time flew by. Rudy always gets to me. Yep, I always get weepy at two parts: First, when Rudy shows his dad the acceptance letter to Notre Dame, and second, when Rudy gets knocked on his ass in the Irish football team tryout and then barks at the coaches to give him another shot to bust through the defenders. And does it. Bloodied and battered. But undaunted. Guts and grit personified.
When watching Rudy, I am him, and he is me (bonus points here for the Beatles song and follow-up lyrics). I've had several Rudy-esque experiences over my life, but the most vivid (and closest to the movie) was the one that occurred when I was a member of my ninth grade basketball team. I was cut two years in a row prior on the seventh and eighth grade squads, made the frosh team as the final roster spot but sat on the bench most of the year. However, a small fan club demanding my playing time increase turned into a big fan club, my coach relented a bit, I got more playing time, and bedlam ensued.
To this day, the memories of ninth grade basketball are among the happiest of my life.
The lessons learned from that year are every bit as valuable.
Work hard. Work late. Work early. Put in the time. Dream a little. Enjoy the moment.
Never, ever give up.
Training for the Ironman has been much more than I expected. The commitment, the intensity, the expenses... it's overwhelming. But, this blog (along with the friendships I've made via Valley Coach and the LA Tri Club) has helped me organize my thoughts, keep them in check, learn some perspective, and stay focused on the day-to-day work that goes into becoming an Ironman.
And today, my favorite movie reminded me the most important message of all.
330 days and counting.