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Itch

January 13, 2013

I have this….. this something within me. I don’t know what it is. A fire. a desire. A passion. An itch that needs to be scratched. It’s this ball of energy that sits right in the middle of me. Sometimes it burns so much I can feel it scorching  me. Other times I have had to stoke the fire. It’s been burning pretty hot for a few months now. Ever since…. well you know, I got the green light.

When I swim or bike or run it rises to the surface. When I race I feel like it bursts through. When I have given my full effort and ability at the finish line… of whatever distance it is satisfied. Fed. Touched. I don’t know the word but it has its fix. I have my fix.

Even when I was in those moments this season…. the past few seasons…. it has been there. A bit more dormant but it knew it had to be. It knew it had to wait until it was time. And it feels like time.

I have slowly allowed myself to dream again.

What if?

Could I?

Would it be possible to?

And for the first time in a  long time….. I don’t have an answer for those questions. For those dreams. For a little while the voice of reason took over. Not now Eggers, this is what your reality is. You have to wait. Let’s be sensible and let’s be real about this.

I looked over my season. I looked at my histogram, which is our plan here at QT2 for the season. I put it together myself, my colleagues took a look at it. There is something so incredibly satisfying about creating your own path. I had wondered if I would be able to self coach and then I realized…. look at what you have been through, think of what you know….. of course you can. I have people looking over my shoulder, I have a good team and the path….. well it’s laid out now.

In 8 months (God willing) will toe the start of Ironman number…. seven? Eight? I don’t even remember. Between now and then I will compete in a variety of distances. There is a pretty precise plan ahead of me. Meticulous and well built.

It’s such a privilege to be able to do this. I am reminded of this on a daily if not hourly basis. Another teen was lost to the monster of Cancer yesterday joining the long list of amazing kids who have died too soon. I look at myself in the mirror and wonder how I got to be so lucky. What did I do to deserve all of this privilege that I have?

Knowing some of these teens I would venture to guess they’d laugh to hear that. They’d encourage me to go and live my dreams and follow my heart. My dreams and my heart straddle reality and the pursuit of my sport and often they wrestle. If I can continue to use the platform my sport has given me to keep the reality piece front and center I will have done right by them. Individually they had more insight and wisdom than I will ever have. collectively they had enough insight and passion to light up the world. They are my compass.

Sport can be such a metaphor for life…. for me at least. When I face those moments of difficulty, I may struggle and I may surpass them. It teaches me that I can also do that off the bike. Out of the running shoes. Out of the pool. I have developed strength and resilience over my lifetime in sport that has shaped who I became out there.

At the same time there are lessons I have had to learn in different venues… out there…. that I have been able to bring back to the field.

A friend sent me this quote yesterday, I believe it is from John Wayne:

“Courage is being scared to death, but saddling up anyway.”

I am not afraid in sport. Typically I am not afraid in life. I might be tenacious and timid at the same time. But it doesn’t mean I am not scared to death. Sometimes you just have to pull on your run shoes, open the door, breathe the fresh air and run out of it anyway.

We can’t control the uncontrollable, believe me I have tried. Sometimes we just have to run straight at it.

That feeling within me, that fire, that drive, that passion. That itch that I can’t seem to scratch unless I am racing, it is gnawing at me in a good way. It’s poking at me. Daring me to dream. Daring me to turn myself inside out again once that gun goes off and daring me to answer the questions:

What if?

Could I?

Would it be possible to?

There is only one way to find out.

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