If I were to write a year in review, it would take less time for y'all to read War and Peace, and who wants to try that again? Plus, no matter how much I would try to include all of the cool moments I'd forget something important... kind of like Britney Spears forgetting her underbritches. Surely I don't need that kind of exposure on this blog... although ... I am down with the general fashion concept, but, I digress.
If you came here hoping to read a comprehensive review of 2006... well, that ain't gonna happen but don't worry, I won't leave you empty handed. So, don't touch that mouse -- unless of course you need it for this blog -- and keep reading the Cliff Notes version.
The races of 2006 gave my little triathlon hobby thingie a noble purpose. The two half-Ironman and one full Ironman I raced in support of the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society not only gave me a purpose in my training but also kept me from doing something foolhardy like balancing my checkbook or keeping Kid Rock and Pamela Anderson together. ... I have that kind of power, ya know... The ancillary benefits of triathlon are truly endless.
But enough of that... let's get on with the review.
In May I returned to the St. Croix Ironman 70.3 to exact some revenge on the island that damn near sent me to the hospital the year before. After completing the race I wrote:
The return to St. Croix was to fulfill a dream, or so I thought. I returned to St. Croix to settle the score with the island, or so I thought. I returned to St. Croix because I had something to prove to myself, again, so I thought. But, it wasn’t until the race was finished that I found the real reason why I returned to St. Croix: to find the truth. It was there I found an honesty and truthfulness I hope never to forget. The truth that my will can overcome the weariness of my body. It’s in that moment of exhaustion -- when I crossed the finish line -- I was never more full of strength.
Goodbye St. Croix. I found what I came for.
Then came Ironman Florida. My first attempt at the full burrito. Despite a fever of over 101 degrees and bronchitis I finished it in 14 hours and 36 minutes. Afterwards I wrote:
My first Ironman was a crucible. A situation of concentrated forces interacting to influence change... a development. If the person that stood on the beach at 7 AM made it to the finish line by midnight he would be a changed person. The Ironman course itself is a calcining refractory vessel melting away and separating the old elements revealing the new. Standing in the light on the far side of the finish line by propelling this body 140.6 miles I answered the question. A vial of truth serum was poured over me. Yes, it's true. I have the mettle to be an Ironman. Tongues are still. Speculation is no more.
The Ironman Florida 2006 Honor Roll brought blogland along for the ride. The month before the race I wrote:
Will you give me permission to race in honor of the people you know touched by cancer in Ironman Florida? Here's my request: provide to me the names of those you know who are fighting cancer, any form of cancer, or has lost their struggle. I will carry the names with me for the entire 140.6 miles of Ironman Florida on November 4. It is for them, for their honor or their memory, that I will toe the starting line. Racing in the two half-Ironman and one full Ironman triathlons this year has never been about me. It's about fighting cancer and helping the people it's touching. 'BoomerNation, allow me this honor and privilege to race for the people you know. By doing this, a part of you will be with me for every stroke, turn of the crank, and stride of Ironman Florida.
You guys came through in a big way. On race day I carried over 250 names with me from start to finish.
The biggest highlight of the year was not any one race. Nope, not even Ironman Florida comes close. The biggest highlight isn't even one thing. It's many. It's you out there in the blogesphere. I don't care how cliché or hackneyed it sounds but it's true. The people I've met, both in person and virtually, are what made the journey worthwhile.
It all started with a seemingly pedestrian buy of an iPod. Something that happens ...what ... a bizillion times a day, right? I first thought I'd use it just for listening to music while training but soon afterwards I discovered podcasts and that lead to the blogs of those who made them and those who listened. Oh, the wonderful blogs. What serendipity! What a find! And, how it shaped 2006 into a glorious year.
Your blogs have inspired me, taught me, and humored me. They have taken me to places of both introspection and across borders far away. I found a missing piece... a kindred spirit... from a river beautiful to an ocean gulf. Because of this spirit; no swim, no bike, and no run, and no day is the same. They are better. And when it joins me to race, oh my... then I will fly. This past year was more than good. Not so much for its nostalgia but more for its promise of a brand new day.
As far as my plans and goals for 2007 are concerned I'll post about them soon. In the meantime, let me ask you, have you made any resolutions for 2007?
Here's mine: I resolve to procrastinate more in 2007...
... starting in May ;-)
HAPPY NEW YEAR!