What Heaven looks like

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate,

I took some chances yesterday. I said some things that needed to be said to some folks who needed to hear from me. I’d like to tell you that I found the courage to speak up on my own, but the truth is that your mommy gave me that courage. She believes in me – maybe too much sometimes – but that gives me unlimited power. With her belief in me as a man, approval and love it doesn’t matter what anyone outside of our home thinks. Kinda mushy, huh? I know. But lately I’ve needed her positivity as I’m surrounded by uncertainty elsewhere.

I had lunch with a good friend yesterday. We had a great conversation that turned philosophical pretty quickly.  It’s good to surround yourself with friends who’ll listen to you, but who also want your opinion. This year I chose to ask a handful of men to provide that for me.  Iron sharpens iron, after all. My friend yesterday is having some trouble shutting his brain down to rest. He’s a brilliant and successful guy, but right now he needs to rest. I encouraged him to treat his brain like a cell phone. They say its good sometimes to just let your phone run completely out of power before recharging it – just let it die. I don’t know if that’s true or not, but for sake of this analogy, let’s say it is. When you plug it back in it’ll work even better than before because it had a chance to shut down. He keeps trying to plug his brain back in when he feels like he’s about to run out of power. I encouraged him to just let it die. When the time is right he can always plug back in. He laughed and said “oh, like when you put your feet in the kiddie pool in your backyard and listen to Jack Johnson?”. I said “exactly like that.” Our culture has forgotten about the concept of real rest. When you rest you have a chance to grow. When I train hard for races I have to rest or the cumulative fatigue will just shut me down. When I rest I get fast and lean. If I don’t rest I get slower and sick. Life and triathlon.

Izzy, I wish I could tell you all the awesome things you’ve told us over the years about God and Heaven, but it would turn into a novel here. We’ve saved alot of your stories and drawings. The bottom line is that your mommy and I believe that God talks to you. Sounds crazy to some people, especially coming from our family because we’re far from “charismatic Christians”, but we believe it with all our hearts. You’re a very special little girl and there’s is something great in your future. Last night you told us that you had another dream about Heaven. You described it for us like this: “I was standing on a tall very rocky mountain looking out through a silver fog. The sky was the orangest orange I’ve ever seen. It was beautiful”. Sounds nice, baby.

Max, you’ve taken to calling all of us “honker-legger”. No clue what it means, but you love saying it. Tonight at Sam’s mommy took a sip of your drink and you caused a big scene by yelling as loud as you can “That’s my drink you honker-legger!!!!!”. People stared. We all laughed.

Kate, after we left Sam’s we went to Chick-Fila to get icecream. When the drivethru order taker said “What can I get for you tonight?” you screamed as loud as you could from the backseat “CHICK-EN-NUGGETS!!!!!”. You certainly know how to get what you want already.

I did manage to get some training in today. I ran 4 miles on the treadmill at a variety of paces. My training is still coming along very slowly. Its been so hard to focus on it with the rest of the stuff happening in my life. I read an article in one of my triathlon magazines about having a “stress budget”. You’ve only got so much good stress you can budget (training is mostly good stress). When your life gets filled with other stressors (change, work, lack of sleep, etc) you should scale back on that good stress so that you don’t get overloaded on stress in general. Makes sense. Sort of.

Max, I hear you upstairs asking Mommy “where’s my friend Daddy?”. I better go see you.

I love you kids.

– Daddy


4 mile run as: 1 mile at 8:00pace / .25 mile at 6:00 pace / .25 mile at 8:00 pace / .25 mile at 6:00 pace / .25 mile at 8:00 pace / repeat mile two sequence / .50 mile at 8:30 pace / .25 mile at 9:15 pace / .25 mile at 10:00 pace