I’ve been there…

Have you ever out going for a run in -30*C (-22*F)? In the snowstorm? In miles of empty street with nothing but streetlights to keep you company?
I’ve been there.

Or pound the pavement in 30*C (86*F) with humidity? You can barely breathe but you smile knowing it will be a good run.
I’ve been there.

Or ride in weather so frigid that your feet are numb? Or ride in pouring rain and your shoes are filled with water?
I’ve been there.

Have you ever glanced at the hill and wonder how you will get to the top? When you start to climb, there is a hush in the sky. So quiet you can hear your heart beat. Just you, the sun and your bike. It is as if the whole world is in silence watching you to get to the top?
I’ve been there.

Or ever wonder if you can swim 3.8 km (2.4 miles) when you barely swim two laps? Or be part of a swimming class where you have your own lane b/c you are the slowest of them all?
I’ve been there.

Or wonder if you have the confidence to get back on the bike after an accident? Or barely scraping by to save enough on nutrition so you can train? Or think maybe it is better to be medicore or normal just for a bit?
I’ve been there.

Or wonder for one day, you are going to give all you got. The weeks, months, years you spent getting ready. The day you tell yourself, you are going to race no matter what the condition. Be it cold, hot, rain, sun, heat. In fact, make the weather miserable. The worst the better. And you choose to do this, not because it is easy, but because it is hard. And the harder it is, the better…
I’ve been there.

Or ever wonder the possiblility, the slight possibility that someday, somehow you are going to find a way. Even if you don’t know how. Even if you have to take baby steps. Even sometimes it feels like a standstill. Or backslide…yet you struggle for just one reason. Simply you choose not to let go?
I’ve been there.

And someday you look back and say, look what I have done. Not b/c of your accomplishments. Rather, you look at the the journey that took you here. The journey. With all its ups and downs. The people you met along the way and for a brief moment you connect with them simply you know the way the path twists and turns.

And the path that you took ain’t b/c of your talents or skills. It is from your heart. From the fire inside that will not stop burning…
I’ve been there.

18 comments

  • Wow- such an awesome post Cliff!
    I’m glad to have followed your journey and look forward to watching you cross the finish line at Lake Placid next month!

    Great reserve at Muskoka..the diligence with the HR monitor will definitely serve you well at IM. Maybe give yourself a couple extra beats though since nerves, adrenaline can do funny things to your HR on race day. Monitor your perceived exertion as well.

  • Have you ever out going for a run in -30*C (-22*F)? In the snowstorm? In miles of empty street with nothing but streetlights to keep you company?

    YES

    Or pound the pavement in 30*C (86*F) with humidity? You can barely breathe but you smile knowing it will be a good run.

    YES

    Or ride in weather so frigid that your feet are numb? YES

    Or ride in pouring rain and your shoes are filled with water? no!

    Have you ever glanced at the hill and wonder how you will get to the top? YES

    When you start to climb, there is a hush in the sky. So quiet you can hear your heart beat. Just you, the sun and your bike. It is as if the whole world is in silence watching you to get to the top?

    haha… no, but now that you have me thinking about it, I’m sure I will!

    Or ever wonder if you can swim 3.8 km (2.4 miles) when you barely swim two laps? Nope

    Or be part of a swimming class where you have your own lane b/c you are the slowest of them all? ha 🙂 poor cliff

    Or wonder if you have the confidence to get back on the bike after an accident? YES

    Or barely scraping by to save enough on nutrition so you can train? YES
    Or think maybe it is better to be medicore or normal just for a bit? Yup

    Or wonder for one day, you are going to give all you got. The weeks, months, years you spent getting ready. The day you tell yourself, you are going to race no matter what the condition. Be it cold, hot, rain, sun, heat. In fact, make the weather miserable. The worst the better. And you choose to do this, not because it is easy, but because it is hard. And the harder it is, the better…
    YESSSSSSSS

    Great post, Cliff! 🙂 As always, thank you for not only making me think, but appreciate this entire process. I feel like the more time goes by with this training, the more I fall in love with it! 🙂

  • I’ve been to a lot of those places too…esp. being in my own swim lane some days, like today when I ventured back to the pool. I left the days of snow running behind me in DC though.

  • This “I’ve been there” post is one of the most magical I have read. Not just the words Cliff but the the visions in picture. God touched you with this one and you shared it. You shared it all.

By Cliff

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