The Best Choice

As I sat on the shore of Lake Mission in my chilly vehicle waiting, rain beginning to come down harder and harder, watching the palm trees dance with a wild wind, I thought, what the hell am I doing here today?

The short answer to that is that I had agreed to meet two young friends/training partners who were hungry to get some winter paddling in, both short on equipment and perhaps hungry for a bit of guidance.

Not like it’s winter in Mass Maryland or NY, where we were all from, but it was California cold, about to be very stormy and over the last 25 years I’ve identifier certain winter training choices that turned bad, flu, near pneumonia, back pain, all the sexy things that accompany high intensity training in suspect conditions for an aging warrior.

From the moment I had woken to the moment just before the lads showed up , (one 30 minutes late), I had considered calling and saying, “boys, lets go to the pool.” but I Didn’t. I had made a date, it was important to them and part me was was thinking, don’t get soft Cris…

After the “warm up” jog laps on the cold grass, rain now coming down hard, I continued to think, this is probably not a good idea, but in the company of my inspired young friends I kept the complaining to myself and leaned into to wind and thought, what the hell.

Memories of scores of winter and stormy workouts I used to do in my 20’s n 30’s flashed in my mind and how I thought then that some of my older training partners at the time who opted of those sessions had lost their hunger and were losing their mojo. On this day, I was not going to be them.

We paddled, we bantered, ran sandy laps in between .5 mile paddle loops to give my back a little love and spent an hour covering ground.

One of lads thanked me as we were packing up saying the session was special and it meant a great deal to get together while back on his college break.

As we shook hands I looked him in the eyes and said, “I wouldn’t have missed it for the world.”

Most of the time listing to reason and putting into action the learning from our past choices is a really, really good idea, but sometimes…picking the choice that goes against our better judgement because it has soulful implications is the best choice.

Train smart, have fun and never give up,

Coach Cris


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