Mich, my brother from another mother, sent me a book from the UK. There's nothing quite like a book suggested to you by someone who knows you, and your tastes. Mich was spot on.
The book was Haruki Murakami's "What I Talk About When I Talk About Running".
Here's a passage which really hits home.....
"I've been in this race a few times, so I recognize a few of the participants. As we wait for the race to start, we shake hands and chat. I'm not the type who gets easily along with others, but for some reason with other triathletes I have no problem. Those of us who participate in triathlons are unusual people. Think about it for a minute. Most all the participants have jobs and families, and on top of taking care of these, they swim and bike and run, training very hard, as part of their ordinary routine. Naturally this takes a lot of time and effort. The world, with its commonsensical viewpoint, thinks their lifestyle is peculiar. And it would be hard to argue with anyone who labeled them eccentrics and oddballs. But there's something we share, not something as exaggerated as solidarity, perhaps, but at least a sort of warm emotion, like a vague, faintly coloured mist over a late spring-peak. Of course, competition is part of the mix - it's a race after all - but for most of the people participating in a triathlon the competitive aspect is less important than the sense of a triathlon as a sort of ceremony by which we can affirm this shared bond."
Stay the course,