Sunday, January 14, 2007

An inspiring email...

I got an email thru my website from a friend/competitor in San Diego, who is in the Navy. He's a Navy SEAL, serving in Iraq right now, and we've known each other for a few years, meeting thru triathlon. I wanted to share this email with everyone, because it really had a profound effect on me when I read it. I shared it with my wife and we talked about it as well. I have edited his name, and the names of some of the others, out of respect and possibly national security.

"Hey Jim, I'm writing from Ramadi, Iraq. Just wanted to say the article on you after your IM Florida finish was amazing and motivating. I just wanted to say congrats on persevering through the tough times. I'm in a bit of a rut out here. Can't train much and I'm not sure when we're gonna be able to leave this hell hole. Morgan and Marcus ____ are here with me. They say hey. Hope your training is coming along for a strong 07 season. And kickass for us shooters. Cheers A______"

This email is just profound to me, because here is a guy who thinks I'm persevering, and he's stuck in Iraq! I feel honored to be a source of motivation for him, and possibly others in Iraq, but the realities of the world I face could never compare with what he sees on a daily basis. At the same time, it also shows how important triathlon really can be for people. Sometimes it may seem silly to care so much about triathlon, but when you consider how much triathlon can represent a person's passion, you realize how important it is. Want to test your love for triathlon, or your love for anything or anyone in general? Put yourself in Iraq, away from it all. If this email doesn't make you want to get out and train, nothing will.

I have 2 close friends who recently returned from their 2nd tour in Iraq, and now have these three friends there. Remind me to never complain about training or weather, or anything else so petty again.

Be safe A, and tell Morgan and Marcus I look forward to seeing all of you alive and well when you get home to San Diego! I'll buy you boys beers...

NFA 07

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