I received a fantastic e-mail from Andrew below. Worth a read.
Sent: Monday, March 10, 2008 6:19 PM
Subject: Since my last email
We traded emails about 18 months ago. I'm the guy who went to Staples and St. Lawrence. You sent me a link to your blog.
I just thought I'd drop you a line to say keep up the good work.
I dug in and read your blog. I did the Solana Beach sprint a few years back on an ancient bone-rattling Cannondale. I had a great time, and intended to do some more training and racing. Of course, after the next business trip--after I lose some weight--after I get a new bike--after . .
Well, your blog and my son changed all that.
We adopted my son from the foster system here in San Diego County. I'll spare you the details, but he had a rough ride through life, and a few of the scars still show. Sometimes he gets frustrated easily, and lacks self-confidence. New challenges are difficult. During one pep-talk with my son on the subject, I found myself telling him that nothing important ever happens without challenge--that giving up is the only guaranteed path to failure--that setting difficult goals and working hard to achieve them is rewarding regardless of the outcome.
It was later that I realized that I was partly talking to myself, and that I had a responsibility to model the behaviors for him. It was time for me to get off my ass and get to work toward my own dreams.
I jumped on my bike, started swimming and running, made mistakes, learned, read, talked to people, built a plan, made more mistakes, read more, got frustrated, changed the plan, but didn't quit. My son watched the whole thing, and I didn't have to talk much. Last June, he cheered me through the finish chute at the my first 70.3 event in Hawaii (see attached). I'm at it again, getting ready for the Boise 70.3. After that, a full Ironman; after that, someday, Kona.
I may never get there, but I'm going to set the goals anyway and work at them. Because now I'm being watched by four eyes. My son has a little sister now.