Well I finally made it to New Zealand. The trip took 24 hours total. This is the longest I have ever traveled by plane so it was an epic way to start an “Epic Camp”. John Newsome was there to greet me. He was a familiar face and a definitely a familiar voice as I listen to the pod casts he and Bevan do, “Ironman Talk”, every week. I felt at home when I arrived.
So why am I here? My wife, Dana, asks me this often. “You aren’t even doing an Ironman this year” she says. I guess it’s not about the training, for me it is more about the adventure, the journey, the life experience. I want to explore my limits. Can I make it? What is my body capable of doing?
You see when I was eighteen my Dad died of a massive myocardial infarction. He was a workaholic. He never had any fun. On his days off we would work doing maintenance for all the rental properties he owned. My brother and I dreaded those his days off. He called them “work camp”. He had one goal that kept him going. Sailing was his thing. “Once I get you boys off the college I’m going to get a boat and sail the Caribbean“. He never made it. At 52, not much older than I am now, he passed away pulling up the main sail while on a sailing vacation with my brother at a local lake. Not quite the Caribbean. He took his dreams to his death. I thought about this when I parked my bike under the picture of the sailboats.
This event changed my life. One day I was drinking beers with my buddies all night and the next, I became a runner and endurance athlete who ate a low fat strict diet and stayed away from alcohol and hit the books instead.
In my line of work I see death all the time. Gunshot wounds, major trauma, cancer, you look into their eyes and you see the fear. Life is so fragile and it can be taken away from us in an instant. I am constantly reminded of this. The time we have here is precious and you have to take opportunities to live and take adventures like this when they come. “Live the Dream”.
I am still pretty fit right now coming off a few years of Ironman training, but who knows what kind of shape I will be in next year and beyond. I’m not getting any younger either. I feel really guilty for leaving my wife and kids for ten days. It’s pretty selfish actually. I still have my watch set at Tulsa time and I think “what are they doing now?”. But this is something that I have been compelled to try since I first came upon it while searching the internet. Ask me again in a week or so if it was all worth it ;)