Happy July 5th friends! July 5th is the most unappreciated day of the year, especially for athletes...
Most Americans know the general story of July 4th, 1776. A bunch of stodgy old white dudes threw on their best powdered wigs, got all hopped up on Mountain Dew and mead and signed and adopted the Declaration of Independence, officially separating the 13 colonies from England and officially creating the country of 'merica.
But, as I sit here on July 5th, nursing a mild hangover and trying to regrow most of my singed off left eyebrow, it strikes me that July 4th is kind of an "easy" holiday. And I'm not really a fan of easy things; I'm more of a "type 2 fun" kind of guy (for those that aren't up to speed on type 2 fun, give this a read: https://www.outsideonline.com/health/wellness/why-type-two-fun-feels-so-good/ ). It's super easy to get all jacked up on Mountain Dew and powdered wigs, and sign your name so large that the King of England can see it across the Atlantic. I've done this numerous times, signing up for various races, and physical challenges without putting in an appropriate amount of consideration. In fact, my Ironman career began with a text from a slightly inebriated friend to a slightly inebriated me, and before the night was over, I had declared independence from England and signed up for an Ironman.
The real day to embrace and celebrate is July 5th, the “oh sh*! I just declared independence and now must found and run a country” day. This is where the work begins, and the work is where we find the reward and is what deserves to be celebrated. What’s amazing about endurance athletes is that we choose to live in a perpetual state of “July 5th”, a July 5th Groundhog Day (Phil?! Phil Connors?! I thought that was you!). Endurance sports are all about putting in consistent work over long periods of time. We wake up and embrace the “oh sh*! I just declared independence” and all the strife and struggle that that contains. Because you have to “found a country” at 4am, because you have to “found a country” in the rain and snow, because you have to “found a country” when you’re tired and sore, when you’re burned out at work, when you’ve had one too many meads the night before, or when you’re waiting on your new powdered wig shipment to cross the Atlantic via frigate.
So, here’s to July 5th. And here’s to all you crazies out there running, biking, swimming, hiking, climbing, lifting, rowing, paddling, jumping, skipping, sliding, gliding and flying. You all really are the best community in the world. I’ll raise a glass (and maybe a gel) to you all on my new favorite holiday, July 5th.
See you all out on the trail,