A Delicate Balance

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate,

I came across this old photograph in Ochs Museum on top of Lookout Mountain. I stood in silence for a few minutes while you and Mommy looked at the other odds and ends in the small stone building that is the museum, Izzy.

I don’t know his name or his story. While I’m sure his story, the reason he found himself atop that rock on Lookout Mountain, and his fate are interesting, I couldn’t help but thinking about myself. And you.

Sometimes I feel like this guy.

I’m sure that structure is more sturdy than it appears, but at first glance I wondered how he is balancing that? Was there risk in climbing up there? Because, after all, someone had to be the first person to do it. Maybe it was him. Would I have been the guy to climb up there or the guy who took the picture?

Sometimes I feel like I’m on top of a rock taking in the views, enjoying being on top of a mountain. And sometimes I worry about how the rocks beneath me are stacked. The whole thing feels a little wobbly.

Life is at once a mountaintop and a precarious, structurally unsound, disaster waiting to happen. I’m standing up there lately. Some of the coolest things in my life are happening right now. But I also feel us being challenged by other circumstances. Great views coupled with the sensation of a teetering stack beneath me.

So that’s what I thought about when I saw that picture.

This morning I heard a local pastor say that the line between frailty and holiness runs straight through the middle of our own heart. I thought again about the the rock on top of Lookout Mountain. And about us.

Here’s a standing on top of the rock moment. Julia Polloreno, the Editor in Chief of Triathlete magazine, wrote this about my letters to you kids in the August issue of Triathlete:

Its quite an honor. I never would have imagined 6 months ago when I started writing to you kids that we would be mentioned in a magazine that I’ve been reading for over 10 years. It was worth setting out on the journey up the mountain.

Here are a couple more pictures from Ochs Museum.

the stone exterior of the museum and observatory.

the view from the observatory outside. I’m sure this is very similar to the view the man on the rock had.

Izzy, here’s a pic of you from your swim meet yesterday. Such a pretty girl – even with swim cap hair.

I love you kids,

– Daddy


Sun: Swam 1500 / Biked 25 miles / Ran 6.2 miles


Tues: Swam 1700

Wed: Ran 4 miles