August 24, 2006

Ironman Canada: Thoughtful Wishes From A Self-Important Fool

I've got a few friends racing Ironman Canada this weekend and I've got to say I'm a little bit excited for them. When I think about the amazing experience they are going to have, I can definitely feel something fluttering about in my stomach. Perhaps it's not a full family of butterflies frolicking down there, maybe just a house-fly jacked up on crystal meth. But its a fluttering feeling nonetheless.

For a few of these friends, IM Canada will be their first Ironman distance race. Ah, I remember back whenI was younger and doing my first Ironman race. What was it... four?... no wait.. five...yes, five weeks ago. Those were the good ole days, my friend, back when men were men and I was freaking out. It was a mere few days before my first foray into Ironmania. The excitement and anticipation. The fear and nausea. Just thinking about it makes me eek out a smile and silently scrunch out a harumph.

And so I sit here an Ironman, with my vast library of IM racing knowledge, wondering what great life-altering insights I could impart onto these puerile little neophytes; these defenseless little lambs, their heads peering with naive curiousity into the drooling jaws of the lion.

Oh, my little tender ones. You are opening a door to which you know not what lies beyond. It is a door into a new world; a door into your soul. Let me tell you, Ironmanettes, let me tell you what lurks behind that door. There is a monster in there. A big, ugly, horrific monster. It is a monster that can rip you apart with one brash stroke of it's claws. It is an evil being with deadly fangs that can violently tear the heart right out of your chest. It will hold up your heart in it's paws with pride, as your lifeblood floods the streets. And that monster will stand there over your heartless body, shrieking and screaming and ferociously rejoicing in it's ability to destroy you.

But you need not be scared, my pretty, because there is a way. Ah yes, there is a way that only the initiated will know. But I am here to tell you, and it is so very simple. Come around, little kiddies, come around and listen. For the answer is so very easy.

All you must do, when you open up that door, is embrace the monster. Wrap your hands around the monster and embrace him. Let him know that you are not scared, that you will not turn back. Demand to all that can hear that you will keep moving forward, under all circumstances. Through rain, sleet, cramps, pain and agony - nothing will stop you from taking another step. Let the world know that no matter how hard he screams and tears and claws at your soul, the monster can not rip the heart out of you.

Yea though you walk through the valley of the shadow of death, you shall fear no evil.

And if you do that steadily and continuously, trust me, you will suddenly feel that monster fall into your arms. The monster will cuddle against you like a defenseless kitten.

And when you find yourself crossing the finish line, hands triumphantly in the air, a smile stretched across your face, you will feel victory in your heart, for you will have conquered the beast.

So march forward, one and all. Feet pittering and pattering upon the pavement in dissonant unity. Ironman awaits. And you're gonna have one helluva great time.


Spokane Al said...

Let me be the first to comment. Your writing is amazing. I just discovered you today from your post at and will be looking forward to more of your witty, thoughtful stuff.

Keep 'em comin'.

Anonymous said...

i had a chill go down my spine reading you excellent description of this wife and I are just beginning our voyage to meet that nasty beast... we have 2 little ones therefore we are giving ourselves 4 years and doing this on our 10 year anniversary. I hold all of the Ironmen and Ironwomen in the highest regard, and hopefully one day, my wife and I will join this amazing group of individuals. Thank you for the motivation as I am going to bookmark this page!