Today is my 47th birthday. I didn't plan writing a blog post about it until I was about halfway through a hill-repeat workout this morning and realized that at 47 I'm fitter and healthier than I was at 37, and probably 27.
I owe a lot of people for that, beginning with my wife, Diane, who was out running the hills with me today. If she didn't also enjoy the growth and fitness and challenge of training and triathlons as much as I do, I'd probably lose interest in the sport. It's more fun doing things together - even hill repeats and swimming intervals - and I'm glad we're doing this. Thank you.
A bunch of good doctors get a good deal of the credit, including surgeons Benson Roe and Katsuhide Maeda, pediatric cardiologist Saul Robinson and Stanford adult congenital cardiologists Daniel Murphy, Christopher Talluto and nurse practitioner Andrea Frederick. Dr. Roe was years ahead of his time when he did my initial repair in 1970, and Dr. Maeda matched that level of excellence during my re-repair two years ago. I'm collecting a nice array of chest-tube scars on my torso (but hopefully won't be adding to it any time soon!)
I owe a thank you to Medtronic for making the valve that keeps blood flowing to my lungs. I'm not being easy on the valve, guys, but I don't have to be. Thanks for that.
I also want to thank TriSports.com for choosing me for its Champions Team and being my first-ever sponsor. I'm sure I'm not the oldest triathlete they've sponsored (and I hope I'm not the slowest!) but I certainly haven't put up the results that other TriSports Champions have. And that's OK, because this sport isn't just for the fast few. It's for anyone who wants to challenge themselves and grow and become fitter, stronger and healthier as they age.
So today was fun, finishing a hard workout I wouldn't have been able to do in my younger days. In fact, one of the hills on the menu I named "Five Minute Hill" when we first started running it a year or so ago, because that's the time I aspired to going up it. Today the Five Minute Hill took 4:33. And on my next birthday, I think it'll even be faster.
I can't keep from getting older, but that won't keep me from getting fitter.