Wednesday, May 10, 2006


Last night, I did not sleep. I think I dozed off for about an hour or so. Today I only took a 1 1/2 hr nap. Body definitely need rest. But before I go, I just have a revelation this morning I like to share.

Going back to this post, I was talking about how my dad give up his career for his family. Now, I was thinking about my training. Earlier this year, I was really pushing hard and want to Kona qualify in the next five years. Big ambitious goal. Letting my ego go, I really think I can go pro (I am sure there are thousands of triathlete who feel the same way). What's better than getting pay to train?

Here is where my problem is. I was letting this idea in my head and neglected the family factor. Will give me a good talk this morning. He told me if my family doesn't support me doing Ironman, then IM is just one silly race.

The more I think about it, the more I realize that the negative thoughts from the past few days are the result of that. I forgot to share what I am doing with my family. Newbie mistake.

I asked myself this question, "if I am Kona qualified or made it to the pro, does it matter if my family is not there?" I read from Gordo's old article, he was talking about relationships and Kona. He was saying that, yes, you could go to Kona while going through a divorce and what not. But it will be much harder. It's true. I am sure some people do that. Sad to say. But we all have free will.

Now going back to my original thought about my dad. He gave up his career for his family. Now I am giving up family for training. Do you see where I am getting at? Basically instead of family, I put training first. I see a lot of people putting career over their family, and here I am putting training over mine.

I thought more along this line. It really doesn't matter how fast I race. If I make it to Kona, great. If I make it to a pro, great. If I am the middle of the pack, great. That's what God provide for me. I am grateful to be able to get up everyday just to train.

So what's the next step? Well, I am going to share with my sis first. She kinda knows but doesn't know too much. I don't want to ask her for help. If she want to give, great. If she doesn't, that's ok. I just want my family to understand why I am doing this. Then I will talk to my parents about it. To them, I am nuts (conservative chinese culture). But I am never conservative anyways ;) (liver-transplant, paintball, tri etc...).

I remembered Jack Nicholas said this once during a championship, "family is everything."

If there is someone that inspired me, it is Chris Lieto. There is an athlete who got it together. What really hit me is the pic of him and his son on the beach. Priceless!


Nic said...

Cliff, You are onto something. At mile 26.0 of my first and second marathons, I heard my dad scream GOOOOOO 'COLE! And when I crossed the finish line, I was such a little girl. Crying into my mom and dad's shoulders, snot and tears all over the place.

It was awesome!

After finishing marathon #3, which they did not attend, I sat down at the end of the finish chute and cried because I never felt so lonely in my entire life. Luckily a very nice man sat down next to me and let me use his cell phone.

So get them involved even if you don't think they'll "get" it. My parents knew nothing about running, but it's been great to have them involved.

I bet they will be thrilled to know you want them to become a part of it all.

qcmier said...

Cliff, Your last several posts have been really good. I understand and agree with a lot what you have said. Thanks for sharing.

Anonymous said...

Cliff - Life is a balancing act. None of us do it perfectly. And you have a lot to balance: work family, faith, training for a few.

It's never a good thing to neglect family. That said there are some things that we need to do so that we don't neglect ourselves.

I hope your family can get on board with your desire to tri. Even if they don't I think it's still possible to do right by them and do right by your training too.

I think what I see in your last couple of posts (through the questions you are asking) is evidence of growth from who you have been on the way to who you are becoming.

I don't tri but from what I know about the sport it's as much about what you learn about yourself on the way as it is about the race itself.

WildWill said...

Cliff, support from your family should be at the core, the foundation of your day to day life, to get that support you need to, as you say, get them involved

Good luck on your endeavours, as i have been thru the same my self, but when you have that support, that foundation ... you feel you can achieve anything ... you embrace each challenge with a renewed eagerness, cos you know those close to you are behind you


William said...

Glad you are getting this sorted out in your head Cliff. This is very important stuff.

Follow the wisdom God gave you and it will be right.

You are already a pro in God's eyes Cliff. Training is just a glimpse into the beauty God wanted for you.

anners said...

My family members are not my biggest fans either. Even my sister, who has run half marathons, thinks that I am crazy for running a marathon. I don't have any family in Toronto, but even if we were all in the same city, I couldn't imagine them coming out to my races. I am always envious when I read about how people have their family and friends waiting for them at the finish line.

Fortunately, I am not completely bf is supportive, and you are too, my good friend. I just wanted to say thank you. Being an athlete yourself...a SUPER understand how much it means to me.

Take care.

Thomas said...

Cliff, it's never necessary to give up family for training. Look at some of the blogs around here, especially Mike ( He's got two very young kids, a job, and still manages to train like an animal.

I can only agree with Craig - life is a balancing act. Don't think you have to give up your family in order to improve as an athlete. On the other hand, you won't have to say goodbye to Kona either, just because you stick with your family. The two can be combined.

Anonymous said...

Cliff, I know what you're saying but you're not married or anything right? I mean sure it's great if you're parents are supportive of you but you can't let that be a deciding factor. My parents have never been very supportive in what I do, they think it's a big waste of time and money and unfortunately or fortunately I don't have a family of my own yet (wife, kids). All I'm saying is the only person you can truly ever count on is yourself, it's great to have people supporting you but if you don't learn how to support yourself then none of it even matters.

And my perspective on the whole job thing is changing a tad as well, perhaps I just change my mind often. But the sad truth is that no matter how much you hate or job and love your training, you cannot support yourself or your training/racing without a job. And until we become pro and get paid to do what we love to do we're stuck just like everyone else doing what we hate for a living.

P.S. Sorry I haven't commented on your blog lately, been busy.

Chris said...

I totally agree with you on this one! It takes a very understanding family to make Ironman doable for an athlete. I've seen both sides - folks that are and that are not supportive of their spouses, etc. Everything goes *much* more smoothly when you have a support crew around you that understand and are behind your goals. Great post.

Lucky number 7 said...

For me, family is everything. I run for God first, family, and then myself. Although at times I am running away from my family, nonetheless it is about my family. My husband's face is the only one I am interested in seeing at the end of a marathon. He's been at 4 out of the 5 I have run. If he weren't there I don't know how I would feel. He is as much of a runner partner as a non runner can be. He wants me to qualify for Boston almost as I want to qualify. Good luck finding your balance. Pray, meditate, and then talk to your family!!!

Hilda said...

You know Miners, he is already an Ironman and has children, a job, a life.

Now you are into this an maybe have to cancel just "some" social activities, but being focus on this stage of your life you invest time on what you love *now*, then there might be time for the rest.

Spandex King said...

I guess I'm pretty lucky in that regard. My family is 110% behind me on this IronMan quest. Does this mean that I never feel guilty about training so much. NO. Does it make it easier. Oh yea. Could I do it without there support. No, no way.

Evertime i'm in a race and I see my family I get so pumped up. On days when i'm draging thru another work out I imagine myself finishing IronMan. Running thru that banner with my family at my sides. I still get emotional every time think of it. Better stop, I'm at work and my co-workers are looking at me like I'm nuts. Good Luck and Take Care.

Steven said...

When I did my first Ironman last year my family made the trip with me and they made it even better. My parents, my wife, both daughters, and the future son-in-law were all there and all cheering for me during each loop through the transition area. And it was awesome having them there with me at the finish.

It was the perfct end to a perfect day. That's what a supportive family can do for a person.

Fe-lady said...

Kona is just a place and a's nothing if you have no one at the finish line.
Qualify first and THEN think about the rest....

E-Speed said...

great post as always Cliff!

TriDaddy said...

Interesting posts for sure. I can only say that as parents, we make sacrifices for our children so that they may have a better life than we had. Not that our lives were bad, but as parents, it's hard to give up ownership of those sacrifices. We want to see our kids put them to good use, as I'm sure you parents would like to see you do.

But in the end, a sacrifice is a gift and it is yours to do with as you wish. It reminds me of the movie "Saving Private Ryan". When Tom Hanks ultimately gives his life for Pvt. Ryan, he tells him: MAKE IT COUNT. In the end, that's all we want as parents, we want our children to make our sacrifices count. Whatever you choose to do, make it count. If you make it count, your family will be happy.

Sarah Lukas said...

It's good that you even get to recognize this before you find out that you'd love to involve the family. Occasionally at my races I have no one there to cheer for me due to work related cases and such. Even though you have the support of the crowd, it's nice having someone there with your water bottle or you gu packet. Definitely let them know how much it means to you! :-) I hope you get a well rested night soon.

Rachel said...

it's so hard to balance everything. something always has to give. I've been wiped the past couple of days. something is always out of whack. you just do the best you can.

Donald said...

I think going pro is one of those "be careful what you wish for" things. I'm not one, but I've known a few, and it's a difficult life in many ways. You are always one injury away from being out of work, homeless, etc. It adds a lot of stress to what should be an enjoyable activity.

Rae said...

It helps so much to have the people you love behind you, whether it's your friends or family. I can't imagine crossing a line without Brent somewhere in the area cheering for me!

Afternoon Tea With Oranges said...

Just found your blog...and I have to say this was an awesome post. I can very easily get caught up in my training and take my family, and their support for me, for granted. It's nice to be reminded of these things.

I hope your family will come around. My family used to think all this training was somewhat silly, but each time they come to a race they seem to love it and get all excited about it. I don't push it on them by any means, but I always let them know their support is appreciated.

MD said...

In the end it is love which matters most. Whether it be the love of a partner, sibling, parent or friend seek it out first and all other things will fall into place. The apostle Paul said Let love be your greatest aim. Train, yes train hard but always be aware of what is most important.

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