As I write this I have done 4 races in the past five weeks and my body decided I had until the end of the race on Monday before it was gonna let this head cold take full effect. The good part is that my body held off on the cold until after my 4th place showing at CapTex on Monday, the bad part is that now that the cold has come on it is magnifying the thorough thrashing I have laid on my body over the last five weeks. In the end it was another solid showing, good points for the Race to the Toyota Cup, and a few bucks in my pocket. I races my race, off the front and full gas, but just didn't have the legs to make the dent on the boys I needed on the bike to hold on for the run. That's racing, especially in the ridiculously competitive world that is men's triathlon. Any distance, and day you will get a really good field if there is money on the line. Its what makes the sport so competitive right now, and it is what makes having those really good days and winning that much sweeter.
I gotta say though as I write this there are a couple things that I really enjoyed over the weekend, and in reality the race was not among the top two. Now, just to clarify, the race this year went great and Rick and his team did an outstanding job of running a super clean and fair race. I even really like that course, but the best parts of the weekend for me were actually Saturday evening and Monday evening.
Saturday evening I was lucky enough to have been asked to be a table host for the Wounded Warriors Dinner. Now going in I didn't really know what that meant but when I was given the opportunity I jumped on it. Even though public speaking and meeting new people are not my greatest skills the evening was extremely inspirational and motivating. If you don't know about the Wounded Warriors or Challenged Athletes Foundation check them out. They are amazing organizations that help former service men and women who became disabled while serving, or just disabled people that want to continue to enjoy competition through sports.
The night kicked off with a speech by John Register. Before Saturday I had never heard of John, but after hearing both his story and his amazing speaking skills I gotta say the guy is a first class inspirational speaker and an amazingly talented man. Not to mention that fact the on Monday he finished his first ever triathlon. He was followed by two other women who had or are serving this great country of ours and become disabled along the way. Their stories of the struggle to get a hold on their lives after becoming disabled and then not only figure out how to live but how to compete again was incredible. I will never again complain about having to head out for a run or a ride because I can just think about these men and women who have decided even though they can't do it the way they once did they will continue to compete and live life to the fullest.
Mr. Register's take away message from the evening was simple. It was live your life to absolute fullest, and by doing so you will enable someone else to do that same. If we all live our lives that way, the world will be a better place.
The second highlight of the weekend for me was having my brother tag along with my wife and Liam for the race. Not only was he a huge help to Natalie with the baby, but it was just great to get to spend some time with him before he skips Boulder for a job out in Northern California. It was just nice to go out for some beers after the race and catch up. I wish him all the best as he heads out into the big 'ol world on his own, and can't wait to go check out Alturas when I get a chance. The only downside to him leaving is he won't be just down the block to kick it with any more, and Liam will have to wait longer in between Uncle B's nuggets of wisdom.
All in all, Texas was a great trip. Good time with my family, an amazing, eye opening night with some incredible people, and a race that wasn't half bad. Satisfied with the effort, and now excited for some time at home to rest and train. Or as the boss, Neal Henderson calls it, "recover and reload."