It’s May, and there are no triathlons in my Race Calendar. I don’t really have any goals set. I follow bloggers who are doing half-ironman and ironman triathlons, bloggers who have already done their first marathons this season. It’s an ecology of overachievers in the corner of the blogosphere that my personal flight pattern covers, and at the very least, the benefit of setting goals is well understood. I should feel bad for not toeing the line by having some goals set.
I don’t. I won’t. I can’t, because feeling bad certainly wouldn’t change anything. I’m certainly inspired by all those who are conquering new ground, there’s no question of that. They are my heroes.
Yet, I can’t help but be reminded about something I read about the movie 300. It’s based on the Graphic Novel by Frank Miller, and loosely (i.e. with plenty of artistic licence) based on the Battle of Thermopylae, where a mere 300 Spartans (give or take some other support from other Greeks) held off tens of thousands of men serving a Persian invasion. When Frank Miller learned of the story of the Battle of Thermopylae, “…the film altered his perception of the ‘Hero’ concept insofar as he came to realize that the hero didn’t always win and that sometimes, to be a hero, one must sacrifice oneself.” In that story, the good guys (according to the way it was told) didn’t “win” or conquer, but they held their ground against seemingly overwhelming odds.
So while conquering a new frontier in multi-sport and/or endurance is an appealing goal, that might not be the path for me at this point in time. Over the past 3 years, we’ve become not only a family of two small children which is often overwhelming (“That’s cute.” said everyone with 3 or more kids), but a special needs family too. The special needs aren’t that overwhelming, but the Lightning Kid has more of them now than he did as a newborn. The transition from daycare to “real school” is coming. I’m looking at some medical procedures, which I won’t detail here, at least not yet (nothing serious, routine stuff). Oh, and there’s water in the basement (my precious man-cave!)… that’ll take time, effort and money.
I have an incredibly supportive spouse, but not a Sherpa wife. Triathlon (and by extension blogging about it) is a hobby, and fits in after (or gets outranked by) family obligations, career, the welfare of my kids, my relationship with my wife, etc. It can’t eclipse them.
These are not excuses, per se. I’m not trying to weasel out of anything, in fact, I am more committed than ever to active, outdoor, multi-sport living. So we’ll be running races with the whole family using a stroller, parent and child sports classes, triathlons for the kids, active family vacations and so on. These are my values. They are our Family Values. I can serve these values without pushing my personal performance envelope. And to whatever would try to come between me and those values, I say:
Which loosely translates to “Come and Take them”.