While my friends and family are either busy handing out candy, wrangling kids to houses to collect treats, or whoop'n it up at a party with friends or a companion, I am still in North Carolina. It's late on Friday of All Hallows Eve and I'm getting ready to play the role of support wagon for Ryan's first full Iron-distance triathlon. We are getting up early to hike it up to race start so sleep is of the essence. Despite the myriad of things running through my brain I will not be picking one of the many deep thoughts bouncing around in my skull to pontificate about. Instead, I'll be focusing on getting a good night's rest in an effort to get up early and get the crew out the door in time for the big race. It's been a long day of dropping off bikes, picking up packets and staging supplies. I'm tired, and I'm not even the one covering 140 miles tomorrow by my own locomotion.
In the last 24 hours I've learned a thing or two about my situation. I would like to say that the lessons are good and that I've come away for the better armed with more knowledge and a bit of hope that things will turn out the way they are suppose to. Instead, I'm more uncertain and unsure that it will turn out good for anyone. It's okay to be unsure though as life can mimic a blind rollercoaster ride where you don't get to see when the next up, down or loop is going to hit you. So, it's okay to be uncertain. You have to wrap your brain around the idea that just because you don’t know the outcome of a situation, it doesn’t mean that you have to consume all of your emotional energy trying to figure it out. You need to have a little faith and hope for the best, at least that’s I’ve been told. The hard part is losing hope or harboring the feeling that the situation is hopeless. Hope is something that every human being holds on to when things get sketchy in their lives. It’s a defense mechanism to deal with the current hardship in an effort to make you believe that the hurt will go away soon. This is suppose to get you through the tough times, but it takes effort to do so. You can hope you do well on a race, but in the end, it will be up to how much training you did and how mentally prepared you are to complete a 2.4 mile swim, 112 mile bike and 26.2 mile run. The only thing worse than losing hope is having false hope. Focusing your mind on the idea that something will turn out the way you want when you know good and well it will never happen will not only expend your energy, it will psychologically crush you that day when you know you’ve held out for a false dream. I guess the question is, how long do you hold out? Is the time frame three weeks? Is it six months? Is it forever? And how do you know that the hope you have isn’t false? Is it a matter of faith rather than hope?
The answers to these questions really don’t matter in the big scheme of things. In the end, you have to put one foot in front of the other and move forward in life because you can’t stop time and you can’t get back the time you’ve spent. You can only learn from yesterday, live today, and try to make the most of tomorrow before you find yourself under a dirt blanket wondering what in the heck happened to the time you spent wanting something you never even had a chance to get in the first place.
Not to end this entry on a down note, let me tell you a story of my first Halloween in America. My brother and I, new to the concept of begging for candy at stranger’s houses, were taken by my folks to a neighborhood to experience our first “trick or treat” outing. We were properly briefed on what to do and thought we had the plan figured out. We walked up to the first house, which was decorated pretty scary, especially to a 4 and 5 year old, and surveyed the scene cautiously. Like a good older sibling, I sent my little brother forward to scout out the situation. Well, it was more like I was a little freaked out about the place and I assumed that if Gary got eaten by the flaming orange squash on the steps then it would give me a head start to run away. He returned with a treat and with my safety concerns satisfied, I marched up to repeat his actions to receive my just reward. Upon returning to the parental units, we approached with very disgusting looks on our faces. When asked what was wrong, we stated that we didn’t like the treats and proceeded to spit out the fowl candy into the parent’s hands. To their surprise, they found that they were holding what looked like a mixture of chocolate, caramel, and foil. Apparently they failed to brief us that you had to remove the wrapper of the candy before you could eat it.
So, have a Happy Halloween everyone and wish Team Ryan good luck tomorrow.