Monday, 5 October 2009

kona diary - day 7

I was surprised last night by the arrival of my mum and sister – I’d been expecting them a day later! Luckily they were travel weary and not much interested in going out to eat – though I am sure I could have managed another meal had they wished to, as we’d agreed!

It was nice to have them around today, as I have been feeling a bit low and in need of some conversation about something OTHER than triathlon! Its weird to sat that, from here, the absolute focal point of the sport that I have dedicated this whole year too, but I have found myself feeling very detatched from it all as the number of arrivals increases each day – all in their best kit, super excited and wanting to share their stories of qualification, injury, kit choice, nutrition plans and race aspirations. Of course, most of these people are simple enjoying a rare chance to immerse themselves in an environment dedicated to excellence in the sport which they are themselves passionate about. Not many have colleagues, partners, family with more than a passing interest – let alone any expertise- and some may not even belong to a club of like minded individuals to indulge in tri chatter with. Just look at the amount of chat that web based forums generate!

So, im being a bit sour I suppose in my reluctance to embrace the spirit – it feels to me a bit like the fresher’s week at university did, where most of the people I met were fresh from schools and parents and just wanted to connect with others and share the excitement. The repeated conversations about what A levels they’d sat, grades, other unis they applied to, tales of school masters and other really not very interesting topics of conversation with total strangers. But this was necessary in order to find some of my closest and longest last friendships- people who i shared years of important experiences with, and without ongoing contact with them my life today would be far poorer. Ironman, or more specifically being at the world championships, also provides that commonality which makes it easy to talk and meet people who will potentially become good, and important friends. Or, as steven does, just enjoying the need to get into the groove a bit more, think a bit more about the race and find a better connection to how lucky I am to be here. As my sister said –you never know what might happen, and there’s no guarantee I’ll be back. So no matter how confident I feel about the upcoming race, how well or poorly it may go, just don’t take the experience for granted.

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