This will be a bit heavy, but a decade ago, a 40 year old friend died in an accident. Three years ago when I did this race, I found myself think of him halfway through the bike course. I was 40 years old, it was a glorious sunny day, and I was competing in an Ironman. I was alive and healthy. I had such leisure and luxury in my life that I spent considerable time swimming, cycling and running. I was blessed, and I knew I was blessed because my friend's death had given me perspective.
The Aussie asked me what that perspective was and I explained that when Arjan died, by most anybody's yardstick I was quite successful, but even though I had achieved financial and material success, I really had not done anything that was meaningful or fulfilling to me. The perspective that came to me through Arjan's death was the realization that:
1. I was going to die and it could happen at any time.
2. The comfort, convenience and security I had spent my life pursuing was empty of any meaning.
3. I couldn't clearly and concisely state what would be meaningful and fulfilling to me.
4. If someday I was able identify what was meaningful and fulfilling, I must relentlessly follow my bliss.
The Aussie turned to the Canadian and said, "There you go. Put that on your water bottle."
I do Ironman triathlons not so much for the competition. It is more of a lifestyle than a race. It is a lifestyle that apparently I find meaningful and fulfilling.
We are out exploring.