TRIATHLON LIFE

Triathlon Magazine Canada - - T1 -

IT WASN’T EX­ACTLY an in­ter­ven­tion, but it was close to it. About six or so years ago, my fam­ily de­cided enough was enough. I had just re­turned from another long trip to cover an event, and they made their feel­ings clear.

“From now on, when­ever you make a trip, you have to do some­thing other than just work,” was the mes­sage.

For years they’d seen me head off to some of the most beau­ti­ful spots in the world and come back with noth­ing to say about what I’d seen. I’ve been to Iron­man New Zealand over a dozen times and can do the drive from Auck­land to Taupo in my sleep. Other than those two spots, I am sad to say that I haven’t seen any­thing else of what many peo­ple say is the one of the most beau­ti­ful coun­tries on the planet.

Af­ter the lec­ture from my fam­ily, I did man­age to take in some hikes on my next trip to New Zealand, but I wasn’t smart enough to take some ex­tra time to see the South Is­land or other parts of the coun­try.

I’ve tried to be bet­ter about tak­ing ad­van­tage of the amaz­ing op­por­tu­nity that this nutty job I have has of­fered. Last year, while cov­er­ing the world cy­cling cham­pi­onships, I took an af­ter­noon away from the track and toured around Lon­don’s beau­ti­ful wa­ter­front. This year, I took a few days af­ter Iron­man Aus­tria to travel to a friend’s house in the moun­tains about an hour away from Kla­gen­furt, where the race is held. She couldn’t be­lieve I was fi­nally there – she’s been invit­ing me ev­ery year since I first met her in 2004 and ev­ery year I’ve left Aus­tria the morn­ing af­ter the race, ei­ther rush­ing home or off to another event.

So, af­ter at least four trips through Hong Kong, I fi­nally or­ga­nized my flights with a long enough lay­over af­ter my trip to Thai­land to spend some time in the city. I woke up early, took the train from the air­port to Hong Kong’s Cen­tral Sta­tion, jumped in a taxi and got my­self up to Vic­to­ria Peak as the sun was ris­ing over the city. I fin­ished the walk around the peak and met an Amer­i­can liv­ing in Hong Kong, who gave me a great tour as we walked down from the scenic spot back to the down­town.

The day will go down as one of the most mem­o­rable of 2017, all be­cause I al­lowed my­self to take an ex­tra day to check out a part of the world I’d never seen.

I hope that all of you are much smarter than I and do take the op­por­tu­nity to en­joy some of the amaz­ing places this sport can take us. It doesn’t have to be an in­ter­na­tional trip ei­ther. My “trip” while I was in Ed­mon­ton this year in­volved a morn­ing-long bike through some of the city’s paved bike trails. It showed me a part of the city I had no idea ex­isted. Once again, I man­aged to meet up with some peo­ple who both guided me along and gave me some in­sight into the city, too.

It’s too bad it took me so long to fi­nally fig­ure out how im­por­tant tak­ing that time re­ally is, but I’m glad I fi­nally fig­ured it out.

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