July 25, 2007

On The Edge Of A Gun

Gunshots can change everything in a millisecond. One moment your life is moving forward as it did the day before and the day before that, and the next moment - BANG! - you've tumbled off the edge of a hairline trigger. Everything you ever knew has changed.

One year ago to the day, Catherine and I were standing waist-deep in a tepid lake in upstate New York. It was 6:58am. Nine months of training, of unbearably long bike rides and degradingly painful runs, of increased frustrations and spiraling nerves - it had all culminated in that single moment.

Standing silent on the edge of a lake.


In a gunshot, we closed our eyes and took one step over the edge into the black abyss. And just as never-ending seconds flow into the rapid passing of a day, we emerged as Ironmen.

Exactly one year later, I stood on the edge of the Russian River. I looked upstream and delved back into my soul. Three hundred and sixty-five days after the gunshot, something has changed in my deja vu experience. Life is the same in a subtly different type of way.

The Vineman race report is coming, but as I battled through the weekend, I couldn't help but think back on my time looking down the barrel of the gun.

Congratulations to all the Ironman Lake Placid finishers. I'm proud of you.