Wednesday, March 19, 2008
A Setback is just a Setup for a Comeback
I heard this today from a fellow strength coach of mine and it really rang true for me- for this week. I had a very eventful weekend, which was full of some adventure, some grief, some challenges both emotionally and physically, and most of all, some mental strength tests. Sometimes you wonder why life is the way it is- without sounding too cliche. I had been in Canada for the weekend to visit a friend for my birthday. I had a good time, but a friend of mine, Peter Mendes, sent me an email to let me know that Kristy Gough had been killed. Kristy was a young pro triathlete who had been hit on her bike by an oncoming car on March 9th, the day my father passed 7 years ago to the day. I used to swim with Kristy and remember her as such a positive, shy girl who was extremely modest, and very encouraging. She was always telling me to swim in her lane- the #2 lane, and get out of the #3 lane because it was too slow for me. She explained to me that it wasn't too hard to be pro and that her and Clas (her Swedish pro boyfriend at the time) really enjoyed training together. I admired her for her teamwork with him and her work ethic to become the type of cyclist that she had been. Kristy will be remembered in my mind as that and in the sport that we compete in, death on the bike is something that we will deal with more than a dozen times in our lifetime.
I came back from the weekend pretty tired, yet ready to head back to my job because I love it and because seeing the clients and their progress always makes me happy. I had only a couple of hours to workout, one hour at a time, so I ran 7 in the morning break and then biked 20 in my afternoon break. During my ride, I had a crash- with another cyclist and my carbon fiber bike cracked significantly. I, of course, flew off the bike, yet was pretty unscathed. Bloody shins, bruised quads, sore back/shoulders, and wounded pride. And, Gonzales was toast (my 1-yr old Kuota). But, I took it in stride and thought about Kristy and couldn't be too upset. I got up, rode back to work, and then finished my night.
The next day, I went to the bike shop and, with all the luck in the world, was offered a frame (an original Aluminum Felt frame, perfectly my size) at Newhall Bike Company and Roger, who worked so hard to put it together for me, was so awesome. I thought that my triathlon season was over when Gonzales cracked, but now- with my new bike (to remain nameless until tonight when I go pick it up) I have a whole new attitude about the season and another reminder about how precious life really is.
Not one day is guaranteed. Do something each day that you have to think twice or three times about because it might scare you. Call a friend you haven't in a while- book a trip to Hawaii- spend time with your spouse and kiss them a little longer than you normally do- workout a bit harder, because you know that Kristy would have. Be kind to the people who you come into contact with. Clean your car. Ask yourself, "did I grow today?". Thank the ones around you. Smile more. Drink great coffee. Take a walk. Take a deep breath. Live life. Be passionate. Mean what you say. Love life.
Get out there and live it!
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