I’ve been riffin’ on the lyrics to the Guy Clark song “The Cape” lately. It really resonates with me in way that represents how I feel about the endurance lifestyle, and being a long-distance triathlete. Completing an Ironman distance race fundamentally changes you as a person. I suppose it is similar to other life changing events like college graduation or marriage. Before the event, you were one thing and after a specific moment in time, you are something else. There are any number of times that I’ve faced something unknown, or even unpleasant in my life where I was able to fall back on some part of completing a race to get me past the current challenge.
Today while I was in the dentist chair waiting to go through a procedure, I recognized the anxious feeling as the anticipation of pain. It was the same feeling I have when I’m scheduled for an extra tough workout or heading into a 10K road race. Both events are hard, and a bit uncomfortable, but they are never as painful as I anticipate, and I get through them and recover pretty quickly. I was able to draw on that experience to get myself settled down and got through the surgery pretty easily.
So to me, the endurance training and racing experience become my cape. I rely on it to help me fly through life’s challenges. Or as Guy Clark wrote: