August 23, 2008


Today was another rest day and I think I actually needed it. It's so sad that an hour on the elliptical left me with slightly stiff and sore legs after all of the training I have done. But two weeks of little-to-no activity are starting to take a toll.

I had an early start regardless to attend the funeral of a good friend's father. I had never met his father, but wanted to be there to support my friend. The final speaker read a poem called "The Dash" that was about how you live your life as represented by the dash between the year of your birth and the year of your death. I really enjoyed hearing the poem and I though quite a lot about it throughout the rest of the day. The simple message was to make the most of the time you are given.

With no training obligations, I was able to enjoy my day at a leisurely pace, something I haven't done in quite some time. I went to a wine tasting that was so much more than just a wine tasting. It was a BLT Festival complete with gourmet bacon, ribs and key lime pie. There were more than 25 wines to sample and even an interesting tequila drink with tomato, basil and bacon bits. But after sneaking an extra slice of key lime pie, I passed on the bacon bit drink so I'll just have to assume it was delicious.

After pickling my liver a bit, I headed off to Barnes & Noble to look at the Ironman books. Not surprisingly, the triathlon section was about as thick as a stack of business cards so there wasn't much to choose from. But I did find a good book for inspiration and motivation called "Becoming an Ironman" that shareds people's first Ironman race experiences. I also picked up a book called "Become an Ironman" that offers insights and tips on preparing for the distance. I'll have to order some other books that have specific training programs so I can start planning my training year. It feels so far away, but I know it will be here in no time. I have to begin training in December since my first half-Ironman is the first week of April. There is so much to do between now and December to get mentally prepared to start the challenge.

Tomorrow will be my first trip back to the pool since my injury. I'm planning a lot of kicking drills and will throw in some one-arm drills to see how it feels. After that, I'm planning a long trainer ride, hopefully 30 miles if my butt can handle it. Since I'm so much slower on the trainer, I think it will take close to 2 hours so I'll have to reward myself with a quick break about every 30 minutes or I'll surely go numb. It's going to take a lot of inspiration for sure.

I'll close by sharing the poem I heard today.

The Dash
by Linda Ellis

I read of a man who stood to speak
At the funeral of a friend.
He referred to the dates on his tombstone
From the beginning to the end.

He noted that first came the date of his birth
And spoke of the following date with tears,
But he said what mattered most of all
Was the dash between those years.

For that dash represents all the time
That he spent alive on earth
And now only those who loved him
Know what that little line is worth.

For it matters not, how much we own,
The cars, the house, the cash,
What matters is how we live and love
And how we spend our dash.

So think about this long and hard;
Are there things you'd like to change?
For you never know how much time is left
That can still be rearranged.

If we could just slow down enough
To consider what's true and real
And always try to understand
The way other people feel.

And be less quick to anger
And show appreciation more
And love the people in our lives
Like we've never loved before.

If we treat each other with respect
And more often wear a smile,
Remembering that this special dash
Might only last a little while.

So when your eulogy is being read
With your life's actions to rehash
Would you be proud of the things they say
About how you spent your dash?

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