Wednesday, July 23, 2008


This week I received an inspiring email from a longtime friend who has been following my blog and racing season. He shared that I was an inspiration to him to lead an active lifestyle. I was initially shocked to hear this, and I think it was because I have lost touch with some advice my parents gave me some time ago.

My parents were firm believers, and vocal, about the fact that there will always be someone who is richer, smarter, faster, taller, and just about anything else more than you – and that is why using those items as benchmarks for your own self worth is such a losing battle. Now, this never stopped me from being ultra-competitive or even having a big ego, but it is still sound advice. I find myself falling into the comparison trap when I read other XTERRA athletes’ blogs and compare my level of training to theirs, my accomplishments to theirs, and come away feeling like I don’t measure up.

It is easy to become discouraged, and training takes far too much mental as well as physical energy to be weighed down by self doubt or unfair comparisons. This is my first year in an entirely new sport, the same year I’m taking a new job, moving across the country, and buying my first house while still trying to balance life with friends and spend time with my incredible wife. You think I could cut myself some slack.

It is a fine line between being motivated by others and jealous of others. Happiness comes from finding the balance between the two and the battle is never over.

I’m flattered by the comments of my good friend. I’m inspired and motivated by his enthusiasm, and I feel grounded as a result of his comments that put everything perspective. He helped to remind me that I’ve worked hard over the course of seven months, accomplished many things I never thought I could, and have put myself in a position to be successful my first XTERRA season. I may not have reached the podium (yet), but I’ve learned a great deal about myself – not to mention swimming, biking, running, and sport in general. So I enter the last two weeks before my final XTERRA race of the season with newfound confidence and passion. I couldn’t ask for anything more, so thank YOU.

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