Triathlon and The Endless Summer

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate,

I was tired Sunday night. I did a long ride that morning and the rest of the day was full of activities, including the VBS closing celebration at church and your season end swim team party, Izzy.

Here you are with your trophy:

Around 8:30 I laid down on the bed and turned on the TV. It wasn’t long before I had company. Max, you climbed up beside me as you always do and you joined us a few minutes later, Izzy.

I turned on the 1966 Bruce Brown surf documentary The Endless Summer. I wrote to you a few weeks ago about how surf films changed my life, so it’s hard for me to bypass The Endless Summer even though I’ve seen it countless times.

“What kind of movie is this?” you said, Max.

“It’s a surfing movie, Max. Look at those boys riding those big waves. Cool, huh?” I replied.

You never responded. You were mesmerized…and soon asleep. A commercial came on, so I flipped it over to the baseball game. Izzy, you spoke up quickly.

“Wait! Dad, don’t turn it. I like it,” you said.

I turned it back and after the commercial we watched Mike and Robert follow the summer across the globe. And when it ended we watched it again.

During the second trip through the movie I daydreamed a little. While surfing was only a tiny fraction of my life, I once again likened it to triathlon in my life now. I’ve been chasing triathlon for 11 years. Year round. Like summer. Riding my bike on cold winter days chasing dreams that are realized in the spring and summer. The warm months strung together through winter by my love for the sport.

Lately I’ve talked to a lot of pro triathletes. They live the sport. Racing almost year round. From warm climate to warm climate. Anywhere there’s a race to be run. Like surfers following the season. The triathlon lifestyle is indeed the search for the endless summer.

It’s about stringing together experiences and real living. Never wanting the cold wind to blow on our pursuit of being kids at heart. Sometimes it painful wipeouts in 40 foot spray on the North Shore. Sometimes its finding a never before ridden break in South Africa.

After contemplating triathlon for a while I realized that life in general takes that shape for people like me. And for triathletes, surfers, kayakers, rock climbers, anyone searching for life instead of waiting for it to happen.  I’ve found myself chasing summer as long as I can remember. I want those moments of setting my eyes on a secluded beach full of breakers, of setting out into an icy river in a kayak, of climbing to 9000 ft on my bike to last forever. I want the butterflies I feel at the starting line to last beyond that moment.

So, I’ll keep chasing, glad to have your mommy and you three kids along to show me how amazing it really is.

Je t’aime mon bebes,

– Daddy

Here are a few recent pics for your amusement:

Izzy, this is your back at your last swim. A SeaDragon tatoo and your usual taunt “Eat my bubbles.”

Max, I caught you feeding Izzy’s french fries to your dinosaur.

You toss and turn a little in your sleep. Wild man 24/7

Donuts for breakfast…extra sprinkles.

Izzy, you wanted some crazy shoes like mine. This was as close as we could find.

Always the center of attention. Kate, you decided that Izzy’s swim coach needed you to hand out the awards to all 100 kids on the swim team. She held you at first and then set you on the table where you passed out the trophies.

The Nikazy kids. Always the last out of the pool.

Here you are with your city meet medals and your biggest fans.

Training:

Sat: Ran 6 miles

Sun: Biked 51 miles

Mon: REST (Begin taper week)

Tues: Swam 1000 yards