I imagine myself exhausted, to the last molecule of possible energy, from swimming 2.4 miles, from biking a ridiculous 112 miles, and jogging (and walking) a marathon (are you kidding me?) by foot or by stretcher crossing the finish line (insisting to the ambulance driver that I MUST cross the finish line), in the dark Kona night... the sun far flung from the western skies (now high in the eastern skies) and my only last remaining desire, aside from air and heartbeat, to be held by my family, my spouse, and my peers, silently smiled, and longingly stared in the eyes. This is the most I can desire.
I imagine Chris McCormack, world-class triathlete, the nights after a 1st place Kona finish, at Rios seafood and Bar in Kona, drunk off his ass, hugging the locals, posing for photo opp's and dancing with his beloved wife. Having given away all he has, everything, every last bit of himself, to, for the year following, get everything he had given back to him tenfold...
These are dreams. I think I may fulfill them someday.
Come April 15th, I will know if 2008 will be the year. It may not, but if on April 15th I am one of the few, proud lucky bastards to be chosen for the Ironman Kona Lottery, I will be among the most grateful and evangelical of recipients. As I simply grace the perfection of human ability, I will stand proud of my accomplishments, no matter my time, no matter the cost. I have been a part of greatness. My family, my friends, and my personal achievements, will all come in to harmony at this moment. I will be a part of greatness. Ironman, by Kona or by other means, must be conquered. If this is not my year for Kona I must admit that my scoring at Catalina Island 2007 felt so good, it can be... Good enough for me.
And so... a 6:35 AM toast, with nothing but my clenched fist, to April 15th 2008, October 11th, 2008, November 3rd, 2007 and Today. Days that did and may live in necessity, honor, and utter hypnotic human bliss. And days to hope for, to work for, and to love. Hope for the future, whatever arbitrary it is.