Monday, January 22, 2007

The Faithful Bumble Bee

"Faith is taking the first step even when you don't see the whole staircase."
---Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Bike Test 2
Lately, I've been running on faith. As the recovery waxes and wanes, feeling a little different every day, I've been putting in the time without assurance that the results would necessarily follow. Funny thing about faith--you can grasp at the concrete and the certain all you want, but at some point, you still have to leap.
I'll write more on the testing at the wonderful Trivantage facility when I get the numbers back along with the analysis by Alex, the Lab Director, also known as Dr. Endurance. I had thought of those numbers as something concrete to grasp onto, something that would give me assurance that I am a very fit 40 year old, that I can get from here to the start line in Wisconsin, and that I can move my frame through the water and over land for 140.6 miles to the finish. The numbers, I found, are not something to be grasped. At most, they are an arrow to the next hand and foothold. At some point, you still have to leap.
In Ironman, I guess, you're not permitted to see the whole staircase. You have to start climbing. I guess that is probably the way it is with anything worthwhile. So, I am engaged in a somewhat educated leap of faith. When I train, I not only exercise the body that I was given, but I exercise that faith that this body will make the adaptations that training is designed to create. I train exercising faith that my injury will behave itself. Why worry about the injury? I could just as easily hurt myself slipping at the pool or getting ironed out by a Metro bus while crossing the street. Mostly, I train because training is my play, and I have faith that play is good.
In his book about Bill Bowerman, Kenny Moore recounts a proverb of sorts the great track coach told to his athletes. It ran along the lines of:
"Men of Oregon. Scientists and engineers will tell you that it is impossible for a bumble bee to fly. Its wings are much too small and its body is much too large and heavy. It cannot be done. It violates the laws of physics and aerodynamics.
"Gentlemen. No one told the bumble bee."

Bike Test

One of Bowerman's "bumble bees" was Kenny Moore. Another was Alberto Salazar. I have no aspiration to strive after those lofty achievements. But I can take a leap of faith and be my own bumble bee.
I think I can.

16 comments:

Veeg said...

I think you can, too.

Go catch that dream!

IM Able said...

Without risk, there is no chance for meaningful achievement.

Risk it, Grey. Risk. It. All.

TriJack said...

nice, very nice...

Shelley said...

I did all that testing before...mucho fun!!!

Nytro said...

great outlook on the situation. size of the fight in the dog, right?

i, for one, know you can do this and benny and i will be watching and cheering for you every step of the way.

latah.

Laurie said...

You think you can. I know you can.

Keep at it buddy.

momo said...

i just did all the same testing and it did help to make some of the training elements tangible for me, things like zone 1, zone 2. but you're right, its just another step up the ironman staircase. like the training days, like your nutrition, like your gear. they get you up to that top step - race day - when you get to see everything come together. such a great journey!

Bolder said...

enuf with all this thinking.

i want actuals. i want the results!!

Pharmie said...

That's the funny thing about Ironman, though. I don't think I saw the top of the staircase until about mile 139.6. Now I'm at the bottom all over again working my way up. That's why it is so rewarding :)

Wendy said...

And we'll be cheering you on as you leap ...

SkiRough said...

Friel's training bible has a great write-up on the bumblebee, and he also talks about racehorses. I think the title is "Think like a bumblebee, train like a racehorse."

tri-mama said...

Jump on in, the water's fine!

a.maria said...

whoa. thats a seriously complicated kind of scary looking bike contraption you've got yourself on there bigGrey!

TriBoomer said...

Once you have the numbers, fun and theory will merge to make for a purposeful play.

Stay tuned...

Carrie said...

I KNOW you can Greyhound. I don't need numbers to convince me of that.

Taconite Boy said...

You can, You will and I'll be there along side for the ride!