Day started off with a long run on the Santa Fe/Pikes Peak Greenway Trail. This trail follows the path of the river and railroad. The mountains are on one side; you see wildlife here and there; mountain bikers go by; US Air Force cadets practice flight patterns and use gliders over head… It’s pretty cool. It was a solid run for me. I’m responding well to the altitude and adjusting. It’s definitely easier to go long and steady then do sprint or tempo work when the body is still adapting to the change in elevation. It’s amazing though how well our bodies do adapt. Given time, patience and staying on top of rest and hydration, I’m feeling pretty good.
After the run, I caught up with Joe Umphenour and we went on a “Tour of Colorado Springs” bike ride. It was awesome! I got to see so much! Joe should seriously consider going into business to start a bike tour around the Springs! He has a wealth of knowledge and knows all the best routes!
On the 90 minute ride, we saw…
the wind sculptures: crazy, huge contraptions in this person’s yard that move in the wind
the Broadmoor Hotel: historic hotel built in 1891 that hosted the women’s US Open golf tourney just last week
old Colorado Springs with a horse drawn carriage trotting down the road and original old motels built to house tourists back in the day
America the Beautiful Park: this is the happening spot! Lots of families and kids come to play in this water fountain/rotating sculpture. It’s pretty cool!
Versailles Palace: well, should I say the quarter size replica version of this French attraction. Who would’ve thought you can see Versailles in Colorado?!
Pikes Peak from afar and “the incline.” “The incline” is a well known challenge in Colorado. It’s essentially a 1 mile long path straight up the mountain. It’s not for the faint of heart! I hope to take on the beast one day–probably not on this trip, but I’ll be back to tackle it!
Another big treat was getting fresh spring water in Manitou Springs. Imagine walking in a historic downtown area and finding an outside water fountain. This is essentially what it is. They built these water fountains outside that are fed by the local springs. The water was delicious! It was so clean, refreshing AND carbonated! It’s like Pellegrino on crack! It’s completely natural and a great source of all those essential vitamins and minerals. I’d make the trip to COS just to fill up water jugs and take them home with me!
After the tour, I headed home for an afternoon of rest and recovery. I got a surprise phone call from my high school swim coach, Phil Garverick. It’s always a pleasure to talk to him. I still remember a lot of what he taught me, but the funny thing is, I remember more of the life and character lessons I learned while under his coaching than necessarily the swimming technique. Of course I learned a lot in the pool and improved by leaps and bounds, but those things fade away into the background over time. What sticks though are the lessons learned along the way in sportsmanship, hard work, perseverance, team work, being coach-able… It’s the intangibles that stick–the lessons learned out of the water that last a lifetime.
One of my most favorite quotes came from a team meeting he led before one of our championship meets. He said:
“Swimming shouldn’t define your life. It should help you LIVE your life.”
I wrote that on one of my goggle cases and carried it with me for years even into my college career. It is so true when you think about it.
Now replace “swimming” with sport or work. Sport shouldn’t define your life… Work shouldn’t define your life… We know this is true, yet we tend to get caught up in these frequently. They become our identity and barometer for happiness. When we are performing well (PRs are coming, the deals are being made), we are happy. When things aren’t going well, we get down, depressed and wonder if things are ever going to turn around. We need to stop letting what we do define us. What we do is what we do. It’s not who we are.
We are human “beings” not human “doings.” Use what you do on a daily basis to become all you were created to BE. What you do should be a conduit to help you LIVE and live your life to the fullest. Don’t settle for mediocrity. Don’t just go through the motions of life. Reach, stretch, grow, mature, adapt and dream. As I like to say,
Don’t just live life. Live Life with a capital “L.”