My friend just messaged me from St. George. He’s driving the course for this weekend’s race and identified the exact point that kicked my ass last year. Snow Canyon. It looks deceptively flat and feels like miles and miles of up. I’m not there this year. I meant to be, but I realized a few weeks ago that I had too much going on to make it happen. It was difficult to let go of that race, but I did. And I’m glad I did. I can’t imagine having tried to get on a plane this morning. It would have been just too much.
My goal this year was to repeat last year’s schedule and do it all better. St. George. Coeur d’Alene. Portland. I still love that goal, but I’m at a place in my life where racing isn’t the most important thing going on. It’s wonderful and something I intend to keep doing, but there are people in my life who matter more to me than any race, and I’m choosing to focus my time and my resources on life as it relates to those people. Being with them. Loving them. Preparing to do more of life with them. Those are my priorities.
That’s a different place for me to be. I said yesterday that I don’t feel like I need the writing, as I once did. Similarly, I don’t feel like I need the racing either. I want it. I love meeting my friends on the trails in the morning and traveling with them to different venues and crossing a finish line. Those things are pure joy for me. But I’m not looking to the exhilaration of the finish line to help me put one foot in front of the other each day. I don’t need that time to work through my demons. Instead, I’m just doing what I enjoy and what makes sense for me and my life right now.
So this weekend, I look ahead to Coeur d’Alene, which will be my fifth Ironman. I will swim, ride and run in my own little town rather than in stunning St. George. I will cheer for my friends Brian and Jeanie, who I know are going to rock the course in St. George. It’ll be good. I’m looking forward to my weekend at home with my family and friends.