I know it's the offseason and I shouldn't be doing this type of thing, but I went for a bike ride yesterday. During one of my (many) pitstops, I paused to admire "The Surfing Madonna" mosaic in Encinitas, CA (see block below). A pause for thanks and reflection seemed particularly apt after an unforgettable 2016 triathlon season. Plus, it was a Sunday and my legs were tired.
Just seven days before, I was competing on Highbourne Cay, a paradisal rock in the Atlantic Ocean where I competed with 39 of the world's best triathletes. We tested, and in some cases found, one another's limits over three hotly-contested days of racing. Off the clock, we partnered with the
More than Sport Foundation
to build/contribute 50 bikes to benefit the hurricane-ravaged community. You never know what impact you might have unless you actually do something. I enjoyed finishing 2016 in an environment where that type of thinking was encouraged. It's what our sport - and our world - needs.
I took a few steps forward and admired The Surfing Madonna's individual tiles - each with scars and imperfections, each an integral part to the whole. My mind flashed to cresting the hill on the final day of the
Island House Invitational Triathlon
only to watch 6th and 7th place finish steps ahead of me. It's easy (and awfully tempting) find difference-making seconds after 3 hours, 39 minutes, and 19 seconds of racing. Figuring out how to be on the other side of those time-gaps is going to be a project for "Future Joe."
For now, let's step back and enjoy what has been an incredible year. With it all on the line, I ran the fastest 10K of my life (to that point) in Yokohama, Japan, and qualified for the Olympic Team. I broke the tape at the prestigious Escape From Alcatraz Triathlon, stood on the top step of a world championship podium in Hamburg, Germany, used my Olympic platform to raise money for two causes that are very important to me, raced in the freaking Olympics, luged down the Great Wall of China, shook hands with President Barack Obama, and finished it all off with a seaplane ride to Highbourne Cay.
I'm not sure what's next, but I'm sure I'm not finished. 2016 was a wild ride. Thanks to you for doing what so many of my competitors couldn't and keeping up through it all ;)