When you can't find the light,
That guides you on the cloudy days,
When the stars ain't shinin' bright,
You feel like you've lost you're way,
When those candle lights of home,
Burn so very far away,
Well you got to let your soul shine,
Just like my daddy used to say.
He used to say soulshine,
It's better than sunshine,
It's better than moonshine,
Damn sure better than rain.
Hey now people don't mind,
We all get this way sometime,
Got to let your soul shine, shine till the break of day.
I have been thinking about this post for quit some time, but it wasn't until today that I really was able to get it right in my mind. These last few weeks of training have really started to strip me down not only physically, mentally, but spiritually as well. What I mean by strip down is with so much going on preparing for this race that decisions are very easy to make. I always tend to try to go over every angle before making a decision in both my professional and personal life. As it is my personal life is consumed with all things Ironman, but my professional life has been consumed with many issues as well. So their has not been any free time allowed for anything that is not either professional or Ironman.
A small example of this also gives you an update from the last post. I was asked by my cardiologist to try one more medicine to help bring down my cholesterol. The last medication that my doc had me on, I had a reaction to it and it took over 9 months to work out of my system. I feel that I know him well enough to know that he wouldn't push this if he didn't think that I really needed it. Anyway I called them this last week to tell them that yes I have muscle soreness, but geez I am training for an Ironman! Also, there is no way that I can find one morning that I can fast to get blood work done after working out for 1-2 hours before work. So I'll just keep taking the medicine until I can get past this Ironman.
Then a close friend sent me a text that said: I hope this isn't weird. I prayed for you and your family this morning. Prayed for your strength and courage to get thru the training for the IM. Prayed for patience and support for your family. This is from someone that has been through this level of training and racing. It really reminded me that I needed this kind of support, and it helped me more than this friend will ever know.
Around the same day I had conversations with two other people that have gone through training and racing the ironman distance, and they both told me that I needed to prepare myself for the reality that some time during this race you will go into a pretty dark place. Then they both added but remember that no matter what you have to keep going because you will get through it.
Tim has gotten me to the point of being able to handle this physically, and Dr. Cooper has gotten me to finally understand how important nutrition is for training and racing. I have been wondering if I have done what I needed to do spiritually to make it though this race. No matter what, this race is going to come down to my spirit being strong enough to finish.
Today I realized that putting myself though this is forcing my soul to shine. It has to because everything is slowly being stripped away. Then I thought of not only all of the bad things in the world that we hear about daily, but also all of the ups and downs that we as individuals go through every year. There are many times we believe that we can't take anymore crap from this world, but that also seems to be when our souls shine brighter.
Then the lyrics above came back to me, and I know that when I enter that dark period during this race I will do what I will not want to do. I will smile! It is the only way I know to physically let the others around me know that even as bad as it is my soul is still shining. Smiling is really the only socially acceptable way to give all the bad stuff in our world the bird. I am hoping that me smiling at my worst will help others get through their worst. So even if your life will never have anything to do with some crazy endurance training we all will have bad times. Even if it is just for a second…smile…and let your soul shine.
In all my soul shining, smiling, keeblerness I wish you all the best this weekend!
8 Days until Ironman Boulder
P.S. For those of you that have never experienced the auditory greatness of the Allman Brother's Band playing Soulshine below is the video. It is worth the listen!