Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Passion and Patience

I wasn't sure what to write about today, but it finally came to me.  As I get through this final week before Ironman Lake Tahoe, the urge to go out and exercise certainly exists.  All of the books on preparing for a race caution not to waste ones energy in the days leading up to the race.  Save it for race day.  I'm typically not someone who likes to wait.  I've always been the one raising their hand to make sure I get my point of view made.  When I believe in something, I want to shout it from the rooftops.  When I train for an ironman, I want to get out there and train.  On Sunday, the key to a successful race will be patience.  I don't want to have any needless wasting of energy.  That's why I'll focus on staying warm in the morning and why I'll take a little extra time in the first transition to get into warm and dry clothing.  I may lose one minute doing this, but I could lose an hour later in the day if I waste too much energy early on.  Yet another good life metaphor. 

I've been dealing with Kaiser recently in regards to my 88 year old father-in-law.  Today, there was an issue.  He has an appointment tomorrow with the geriatric clinic that hopefully will get him better and more coordinated care than he has been receiving.  They called to cancel his appointment today due to some protocol that they have.  Knowing that every minute that went by could lead to that appointment slot being filled, I had no patience.  I called and left messages with every possible person who might be able to rectify the situation.  Finally, I got in touch with someone and resolved the problem.  Throughout the last year I believe that my patience has not helped my father-in-law.  I have let the system take care of him and that was a mistake. 

One of the things I am most passionate about is the care of the elderly in our society.  As an active member of the American Geriatric Society I have often worn my passion on my sleeve.  I believe that the AMA doesn't have the elderly as one of their highest priorities and that specialists making a lot of money for doing things that have not been shown to benefit the elderly is a greater priority.  There are times that my passionate oratory about this topic might turn some people off.  On the other hand, sitting back and being patient...I really don't know.  It's kind of interesting in terms of yesterday's discussion of strengths and weaknesses.  Knowing when to use passion and when to use patience is the ultimate art form.  I hope that I am learning how to do that. 

So, back to Ironman Lake Tahoe talk.  On Sunday, when I start swimming, I must remember to be very patient.  Slow and steady wins the race, as they say.  Or, rather, fast and steady when it comes to swimming.  Swimming is generally about form, so I can think fast while still swimming as easily as I can.  The bike is 112 miles.  The first 80 miles of the bike are not where I want to expend all of my energy.  I've done that before.  The first 80 miles of the bike will be all about patience, about not pushing too hard, about enjoying the day, about being comfortable and relaxed.  Finally, comes the run.  I've recently learned that running can be like swimming.  Going easy does not have to mean going slowly.  Since I've got that idea in my head, my running pace has improved, even when I'm not pushing too hard.  The first 16 miles of the run will be all about being comfortable, relaxed, smiling, and going as fast as I can with those feelings in mind.  After that, and only after that, when I get to the second loop of the run, can I let go and allow my passion for ironman to fully come through.  Only at that point can I let loose and see what my body can do.  I've been looking for the message my friend Rudy can deliver to me as I begin the second loop and I just found it.  Passion.  Being patient all day will allow me to be passionate at the end.  Kind of like life...

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