Yeah, I said thirty, 3-0. :) I've been racing endurance sports since I was a middle school kid, so yup, it's been awhile.
I think every important race over those years I've invested alot of my heart into, I always thought that if I put nearly everything I could muster into the training then the results would come. Results aren't everything of course, what's funny is that on a couple of occasions racing while I was having the time of my life I didn't necessarily have the race of my life!
A friend of mine recently commented to me that he wasn't like me, he'd never wanted a thing, anything as bad as he estimated I must.
This is hard for me to understand because I assumed, incorrectly, that everyone is passionate on some level and that they manifest it uniquely. Turns out I am a bit naive and that some folks, right or wrong are the "check the box", experience-orienated around their pursuits.
All well and good, but I'd suggest that diminishes the path and in the end it's a memory that sits in a mental trophy case, to be dusted off at the occasional class reunion or cocktail party.
Elitist? Maybe. But I think anything less then passion is superficial, non-commital and a person will never know their real emotional depths thus cheating themselves of something real. Why go only half way or three fourths, etc. when self-actualization requires all of one's self?
So here I am on the cusp on another New Year, same sort of goals: race hard and fast, enjoy a few foot races hopefully, try some new things, work on the issues and so on.
I've learned alot of lessons in training & racing endurance sports, while chasing Ironman twice I learned about the depths I could endure to reach a goal and while racing I learned that as bad as I might feel all I had to do was look around and see that somebody probably had it worse.
The seasonal cycle has some uncanny parallels to the life cycle and so it's time to give it all another go as we get ready to enter another early, early season and give it some fight knowing it's a process of ebb and flow, sometimes more fight, sometimes less fight.
Not a bad way to approach life either.