Thursday, January 10, 2008

Because I Can

I thought I was off to a good 2008 with blogging and next thing you know you're busy and can't find the time to post. But I feel it was an important start for the new year and I need to get some thoughts posted.

Remember I was asking myself, Why? Why do I do what I do? There is really no profound answer here.....Because I Can. I listen to other people talk about the life changing aspect of running a marathon, finishing an ironman distance triathlon, cycling or running 100 miles. They have stories about how they were overweight, in a deep depression, unhappy with their life, battling cancer, etc. You name it and there is someone out there that has overcome adversity to reach their goal.

And that goal doesn't have to be athletic. Changing your life can be as simple as leaving a bad relationship, changing careers, or loosing weight through smart dieting.

So why am I left with "Because I Can". Because I realize that I am very fortunate to have the life I live. No major drama, excellent health, supportive family and friends, enjoyable career, etc. I try not to take any of that for granted. Hard work has helped me achieve all of these things, because I can.

Okay, so back to triathlon and training. Why am I doing this? I enjoy the health benefits. I actually enjoy the hard workouts that make me stronger. I like to see how I can push my limits. But there are also times when I am left feeling empty. When I finished IM USA I was happy. Thrilled with the results of my first Ironman. But somehow I wasn't as overjoyed as I thought I would be. I completed the distance....but there really was no doubt about that. No great epiphany, no I'm on top of the world feeling, more of a "Okay that's done, what's next."

My "first" marathon, Grand Rapids. I knew I would finish it. So when I did I was happy and relieved to be done with it. Never thought I would consider doing another. Felt it was harder than Ironman. But still didn't feel like a major accomplishment. It was just another thing to do.....why.....you.guessed.it....Because I Can.

Sometimes I feel like I trivialize the accomplishments. But I know that is not the case. I revel and bask in the glow and excitement of those around me who have also completed their firsts, be it 5k or marathon, sprint tri or Ironman. I get more satisfaction from them because they often start the journey thinking they may never be able to make it to the finish line. And when they do I love sharing in the victory.

I sit here thinking about the finish line. I cannot recall ever thinking I wouldn't make it to the finish line. Is it arrogance, confidence, determination? I don't know. I just do it....(repeat after me).....Because..I..Can. I know there is more to it than that. I can feel it simmering below the surface. What..is..it? Where am I going with this? I just don't know. I need to start digging deeper....somehow....some way.

There are so many things I can think of that revolve around these three little words. But right now.....what do these words mean for 2008?

A full race schedule culminating in Ironman Wisconsin and a possible marathon in the late fall.
Raising money again through the Janus Charity Challenge, beneficiary is Komen for the Cure.
Helping the young triathletes that have joined Snakebite Racing learn about the sport.
Putting my best effort forward at work.
Continuing to be the best husband and father I can possibly be.
Encouraging and maybe even inspiring those around me to achieve their goals.

So let's begin 2008 with a healthy and positive attitude. Thanks for listening. More to follow I'm sure....some of it funny (I hope), some of it serious, hopefully all of it happy. There will be plenty of food, training, triathlon, and all that other stuff that fills up our lives.......yeah....a full life.

Because I Can.....Game On

9 comments:

TriSaraTops said...

Great post, TriBro! You ROCK. Excited to join ya on the roads again this year!

Kim said...

saweet positive vibes my friend! 2008 will be a kickass year...

IronMatron said...

Hi. I found your blog through Kim's. Anyway. Could it be that you don't feel deeply at the end of races because it's the process that does something for you rather than the completion? Is it something about movement forward that you crave rather than arrival? Sounds dopey now but it sounded good when I was thinking it...
Here's to 2008!

Eric said...

IronMatron may sound dopey but there is alot of truth to her comment. Before I even competed in IM USA I was already thinking ahead to my '07 season. Before I ran the marathon I had signed up for IM MOO.

I always have something next. I try not to suffer from the post-race depression that hits some people.

I do like the constant movement forward.

triguyjt said...

eric...just revel in each moment..
the geat workout..
the new gear..
and then the races..
the journey is a hoot if you unwrap each day like a so called christmas present..
good luck..
hey...have you ever done the tackle the tower??? thats gonna be my first event this year

Bolder said...

dude, you sure CAN!

DaisyDuc said...

Looks like you are going to have one busy year!!!

triguyjt said...

eric..
thanks for the advice on the 55
birthday extravaganza. I appreciate your advice immensely.
will let you know...thanks again

Iron Eric said...

I know the exact feeling. I am having the same issue. Good luck on all your races in 2008! You are going to RoCk!!