I had a really great holiday season this year, and I’m really thankful for all the great stuff I got. In fact, I can’t really think of a holiday season that topped this one. (Although, the one where I got Voltron was right up there…)
Probably the biggest gift was the house that Lana and I bought. There was a day, not so long ago, when I had to give up just about everything material I had ever worked for, and start over. I’d like to say that experience has provided me with some transcendence over material possessions. That wouldn’t be the truth though. I’m certainly less dependent on, and in some ways distrustful of material goods, but the fact is, having a place in the world that is all mine feels pretty good.
On Christmas Eve-Eve I made Christmas dinner for Lana and William. There was a fire in the fireplace, Christmas music playing, we opened some presents, and it was really good and all sorts of Norman Rockwell. An opportunity for us to all be together was another great gift.
On Christmas Eve I took William to my mom’s house for Christmas dinner. Lana was at work, taking care of the sick. I was having some awful stomach cramps that had actually started the night before, which wasn’t so great, and I guess made me one of the sick... When I got to Mom’s we ended up going to see a Doctor. When the doctor was reviewing my vitals he questioned my resting heart rate, which was in the mid 40s. Before I could answer, mom jumped in and told the doctor “he’s an athlete.” Mom was pretty proud of me, it was cool. But my mind was drawn back to thoughts of this other guy I knew. He was in the same coaching group as me. He was an athlete, like but much better than me. He was healthy, successful at work, and had a family. He died 26 miles into a PR marathon this summer. Later that night after the doctor decided I probably wasn’t dying I sat around the table with William and my family and just enjoyed their stories and soaked it in. I was thankful for the moments I have, knowing that none of us are invincible and that a Kona or Boston slot doesn’t promise health and longevity. There are no guarantees, and none of us are invincible.
On New Year’s Eve we had some friends over to our new place. I cooked some stuff that turned out kinda “meh.” We ate too much, drank a little wine, and had a great time. The next morning, New Year’s Day, we met up early for a 12 mile run. Balance is a wonderful gift I’m just really learning to understand.
I’m now 12 weeks into the off-season, and it’s been good. Really good. I really love the centuries and long long runs that in season training brings, and those things will be there again, but it’s nice to have the opportunity to focus on some other stuff for a change. I’ve been able to refocus on what I want out of the next few years of Triathlon, and the next few years of life.