This weekend, my wife Leslee and I will be racing in the Triathlon National Championships, a series of races that brings together the top triathletes from around the United States, all hoping to qualify to represent “Team USA” at the World Championships next summer in Mexico.
For many, months of training – coupled with outstanding performances at qualifying races in their regions – have sharpened their skills for this coming weekend. My wife Leslee is one of those top performers, who qualified for “Team USA” two years ago, representing our country in the World Championships last summer in Canada. In a word, my quiet and humble wife, is a “stud.”
For me, I’m just happy to be there: To compete, even if somewhere near the back of the pack; in essence, to make everyone else look good.
It reminds me that we all set different goals. For some, it is to win. For a lonely few, it is even to win at all costs. For others, it is simply to do our best. To overcome adversity. To set a goal and work to achieve it.
Whether it is a sporting event or any other stretch goal in our lives, what matters most is not just how we do, but what the experience makes us become. The relatively obscure sport of triathlon has made me more humble, more adaptable to unforeseen and often difficult circumstances, and more respectful of those out suffering and succeeding around me.
Of this I am sure. When I near the completion of the race; as I approach the finisher’s shoot; my focus will be not on the crowd, but on two little girls calling out the name I love to hear – That name is not “champion” or “winner.” It is a much richer name, called “daddy.”