Last Sunday was an amazing day for me. For my journey. For my story. Last Sunday I competed was the Malibu Nautica Triathalon ( .5mile swim, 18mile bike, 4mile run). After months of training and a trial Triathalon a 2 months prior, I felt prepared. Truly prepared.
As I walked up to the starting line surrounded by 200 other competitors, the fear and anxiety had subsided and a true sense of excitement was vibrating through my whole being. Something I have not felt since my younger days of competition. In the past between the ages of 5yrs and 19 yrs old I had been a baseball player. Then at 19 something changed.
At 19 yrs old I was playing division 1 baseball in California. Well, I should say I was sitting the bench on a Division 1 baseball team. Then the fateful day occured when I was cut. A 19 year old young man, first time away from home, starting a new life, was absolutely and completely destroyed. I cried for days. I wore my pain. Very few things had ever made me so sad. It sounds dramatic maybe, but that was my life and it had been snatched away, taken, why? because I was not good enough.
Let’s get back to the present day Triathalon now 11 years after.
As the starting gun fired, the 200 competitors ran into the waves, wetsuits and swim caps, slower swimmers to the back, faster to the front, I was in the front. And in the front is where I stayed for the entire swim, passing others as I made my way along the swim course.
As I got out of the water, I looked back to see most of the 200 people still behind me, very far behind me. That’s when something clicked, something that I had let get taken from me years ago, suddenly came back to me in one moment. I’d like to identify what exactly it was that I got back or worked through as I ran to the bike for the next leg of the Tri, but I don’t know. All I know is that at that exact moment, a spark ignited a fire inside me that had been out since the day I had been cut from the baseball team.
That spark carried me through the entire race and into a 22nd place finish out of 200 Men in my division. That spark ignited a fire, the fire is burning with a new intensity, or maybe it’s the old intensity. Whatever it is, I’m overjoyed to have it back. I have been waiting for it to return and am grateful to not have to wait a day longer.
Message to the reader: Compete… compete everyday at something that is difficult, train everyday for something that may seem impossible. With training you can have anything.
To my friends who ran the race with me:
George Sacco– Congrats on completing your first triathalon. I know you were in fear as the gun fired, but YOU DID IT! You’re a champion my friend. You trained hard and you came through, and I’ve never seen a sister so proud of their baby brother, it almost brought tears to my eyes, if I did that sort of thing.
Billy Lister– You’re a true inspiration. When I think about quitting no matter where I am or what I am doing, I think of you and your dedication to being an amazing athlete despite any set backs you may incur. There is no Quit in you, and I know we are new friends but friends we are!
From Left to Right. Billy Lister, Brian Griffin, George Sacco