One of my favorite TV commercials when I was a kid featured two old farmer-looking guys talking about their small wine cooler company, Bartles & Jaymes. They always ended every ad the same way, "...and thank you for your support." It has stuck with me for some reason, beyond just being an advertising junkie. These people (probably actors) were thanking me for supporting something that would have been illegal for me (I was 14!), yet they were "sincere" in making me feel like I was a part of their success. I found that touching even though I couldn't articulate why at the time.
That is exactly how I feel about participating in the sport of triathlon.
While the journey to Ironman Arizona has been mine, it certainly hasn't been mine alone. Family, friends both old and new (yay Fortius Coaching and Twitter!) and a fantastic girlfriend have enabled me to reach a new level of joy that simply wasn't attainable training alone. This past weekend competing at the Desert Triathlon in Palm Desert exemplified what it means to have a deep and strong support network. First, the outpouring of encouragement and understanding when I announced my relationship with Stephanie was deeply touching. I've never received more comments on my Facebook page or my blog. Then, the on-site race support. So inspiring given the tough weather. People rallied even harder to cheer their friends on. And of course, following the race at Las Casuelas Mexican restaurant. What a great time!
Friends, new and old, in person or virtually speaking, thank you for your support.
Yesterday following the race, I wrote about my somewhat disappointing swim/bike times that were outweighed by the happiness I felt after my most enjoyable triathlon event in my nascent "career." The volume of Twitter replies and explanations for what may have happened during the race and why was helpful. For example, my new friend Dan told me to re-calibrate my times using a different triathlon pace converter. Turns out I was only :10 off my new T-pace, much closer to my 2:05 original T-pace from a couple months ago. Further, I was only 1 mph off my normal T-pace on the bike instead of 3 mph. That makes a huge difference in my performance psyche.
Twitter friends, thank you for your support.
Tonight, I enjoyed a recovery yoga class with the Fortius Coaching team at Topham Street Gym in Reseda. Despite our hectic work days, nearly all of us made it to the class. There's something special about knowing we're all in this together. That no matter how busy we are in our "regular" lives, we depend on each other in an odd way to simply "be there" at events like this. When it's a busy Monday night. When we have other things to do, like packing for a four-day business trip that begins tomorrow, for example. When it's easy to pack it in, in this case literally, and skip the workout. We are accountable to each other, whether we know it or not.
Team Fortius, thank you for your support.
Tomorrow begins my longest business trip of the year. I'll be gone starting tomorrow, returning Friday afternoon. (I'm definitely blogging though, so stay tuned for the Ironmadman... LIVE from San Francisco!) Fortunately, I'm tapering for the LA Marathon so I won't miss that many workouts. I'm even more fortunate though that I'll be meeting some friends for group runs during the mornings of the convention I'm attending. Dedicated people like myself. Eager to find time amidst the chaos to take care of themselves. Helping me take care of myself.
Thank you for your support.
260 days and counting.