Over the last two weeks, I have begun to look at what Ironman races I will register for, and the act of looking depressed me. My voyage to my Ithaka is coming to an end.
Cavafis, a great Greek poet, writes about Ithaka says it best:
Keep Ithaka always in your mind.
Arriving there is what you are destined for.
But do not hurry the journey at all.
Better if it lasts for years,
so you are old by the time you reach the island,
wealthy with all you have gained on the way,
not expecting Ithaka to make you rich.
Ithaka gave you the marvelous journey.
Without her you would not have set out.
She has nothing left to give you now.
And if you find her poor, Ithaka won’t have fooled you.
Wise as you will have become, so full of experience,
you will have understood by then what these Ithakas mean.
Two years ago when I started, an Ironman felt like an absurd quest of a middle aged man who should know better. 70 pounds overweight, unable to be on a bike for 30 minutes, exhausted from running a single marathon, the whole thing seemed ridiculous.
And yet here I am.
Getting ready to run my first half, I realized that an Ironman although hard was no longer absurd. That it was something I could and will do.
And I got sad.
Another hill that I had wanted to climb, ready to be climbed. Another mountain that seemed smaller than it had … And for a moment, I wavered.
The journey has been so much fun, the trip to Ithaka so much fun that I almost wanted to prolong the training for one more year.
But every good thing must come to end. Every adventure has its climax and the hero has his day.
So here we go, must pick an Ironman. Current favorites are:
I had tahoe on the list, but my coach feels that the altitude may be a bridge too far…
Ironman Lake Tahoe is my new Ithaka…