|Ashley is also a W-C-B|
(At her sister's wedding)
After leaving Klinker Brick, we headed over to Berghold. We saw a couple of people from our last stop and struck up a conversation about the Giants (I was wearing a spring training shirt). Next thing we know, our attention was turned to the gentleman to our right. I'm not sure what started the conversation, but he was engaging and had some great stories. Next thing we know, he's telling us about his cancer diagnosis with 0% chance of survival. He explained how he had sought out a second opinion and how now because of a new procedure he now has a 70% chance to survive. What struck me is that he wasn't sitting at home feeling sorry for himself, he was out wine tasting. He told us about his upcoming cruise with his beautiful wife.
I said a quick prayer for him and his family and it just seemed to push me over the edge...I started to tear up. I tried desperately to compose myself as much as he was. When he saw that I was losing my composure, he apologized because wine tasting was supposed to be a happy time. HS started to tear up when he looked at me. It was all going south so fast and I could see that he didn't intend for us to feel like this, so I interjected "So, I'm doing a 140.6 mile race this summer."
That was just what the conversation seemed to need and the three of us were able to redirect our focus. Of course, what followed next was the typical triathlon questions "What do you do?" "How far?" "Are you crazy?" (Actually, the last one I just offer up as "I am crazy, that's why I'm doing this." Of course, HS gets more praise than me because he looks amazing and he isn't doing the race! ;-)
You Can If You Think You Can
I am currently reading "You Can If You Think You Can" by Dr. Norman Vincent Peale. I decided to move away from reading triathlon stories and focus more on reading stories about positive reinforcement and believing in yourself. This book is perfect and the gentleman we met today could have been a case study in the book.
I'm about 1/2 way through the book but one of my favorite take-aways from the book is "Love life and life will love you back". The guy at Berghold clearly loved life and he wasn't settling for some doctor's diagnosis that would have probably had me running for my bed. Life is amazing and we should embrace every moment we have.
This morning I read the following passage in the book...
It has been my observation that people who are active and deeply interested in everything that goes on in the world are not likely to become bored, frustrated, or fed up. It seems that the more you are into things, the greater the zest. The more active the mind is, the better it will perform and the longer it will keep on performing. To slow down can result in boredom, but not if one continues to exercise the mind by reading, thinking and by participation in contemporary affairs. You can avoid boredom all your life if you keep alive mentally all you life. Keep moving, keep thinking, keep participating -- this is the golden secret of perpetually fascinating existence.This is what triathlon does for me...whether it's the training or the racing...whether I hate it (at the moment) or I love it... it makes me feel alive. Nothing is more exhilarating than crossing the finish line after tackling something people gave you a 0% chance of completing. I am going to keep Gary and his wife in my prayers. I hope he gets a clean bill of health and that we run into him in another winery some time in the future.