The Payoff of Perspective

Priorities and Passion

What is about perspective that feels restrictive? I don’t know, it just seems that I am most often “reminded” of perspective when I am in full pursuit of my passion. Its almost as if perspective represents the ultimate buzzkill. Can you relate or is it just me?

My passion of triathlon has created an extreme case of tunnel vision. It is hard for me to separate reality from “my zone” created by my training and racing. I absolutely love it! As a matter of fact, there are few things that I enjoy more. I choose this, yes it is a product of my own design. I am not saying that it is good or bad, it simply is what it is! Perhaps I could change, that is…if I wanted to!

Triathlon has brought so much joy and satisfaction over the last 10 years that I would have no legitimate reason to walk away now. A new level of fitness and competitiveness, a wife, worldwide travel, multiple national sponsorships, the best equipment in the sport….these are all “perks” that have come courtesy of my passion. As I said, why would I walk away or even cut back to the slightest extent??

WHY??? Well, let’s just say that I have recently gained a renewed sense of perspective in life. On June 5th, my wife gave birth to twin boys. That’s right, I am now a daddy! These last several weeks have presented a multitude of new experiences. Some good, some bad but ALL brand new! One thing that has been compromised is my weekly training volume. I have been dealt with it on the notion that it is temporary. This is a season in life when triathlon must take a backseat. I don’t like it, but then again…ITS NOT ABOUT ME AT THE MOMENT.

Not long ago I was presented with an opportunity to race for the first time since the birth of my boys. Two weeks ago the Music City Triathlon took place in downtown Nashville. My training was not nearly to the level I would have preferred but since the race was a much shorter distance than what I am accustomed to and the fact that it was local, I saw no problem with me toeing the line! Let’s just say, that was not the best decision I have ever made. I made it through the swim in unexpectingly cold water. I didn’t even have my wetsuit because this race (to my knowledge) had never been a wetsuit legal swim. I spent twice as long in the water as what I had hoped which left me completely disoriented upon starting the bike. I made my way through the first loop of the bike course but my head was spinning and my upper lip was completely numb. I have come to identify these 2 symptoms as the onset of a seizure. Within the last year I learned that I have a mild case of a seizure disorder when I have legitimately lost consciousness. There have been 3 incidents since August of 2014 and this race was NOT going to be another…

My wife was waiting on me to help take care of the boys that afternoon and I certainly did not have time to take an ambulance ride to the ER and spend thousands of dollars for doctors to run tests of all shapes and forms. In that very moment, I had an incredibly tough decision to make. I was in full pursuit of my passion…after all I was doing what I love to do most, I was racing. Luckily I was presented with perspective and I made the decision to call it a day so that I could make it home to care for my boys.

Perspective stinks, it really does! There was nothing in me that wanted to stop that race. There was nothing in me that said “call it a day.” But then again, the risk was not worth it. Who knows, maybe I could have finished the race unharmed but then again, I wasn’t willing to take that chance. Perspective has reminded me of my priorities and I made my choice….

And here it is:

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