Friday, March 02, 2007

The Meaning of Virtue

You should reach the limits of virtue
before you cross the border of death.
--Tyrtaios, Frontiers

By now the bulk of you have experienced your first race, and discovered the thrill and challenge of triathlon. Some of you may have found it everything you wanted. Some of you, however, may have found it quite a bit more, and are now daunted by what has happened and are now waivering in your resolve.

To you we take this time to ask: Do you want to quit? Do you wish to surrender? Do you desire to abandon the decision you made to enter this sport? Having tried it, do you now hope to leave this world of water, wheels, and shoes in endless motion beneath wind and cold and cloud and rain and heat and sun? Well, do you?

To you we give this answer: NO!

Now is the time for you to hold strong to your resolve. Now is the time to stand undaunted. Now is the time when you check your heart and soul, and remember the reasons that--deep down inside, in places you have only begun to explore--you sought out this sport and the challenges it promised you: to find the meaning of your strength, your courage, your beliefs, and most of all, yourself. So that you could make of yourself a better person than you were before, and fulfill the full potential of the human being you were meant to be.

So gather your equipment, strap on your shoes, fix your sunglasses, honor the virtues you hold most dear, and then steel your mind and join your comrades. It’s time for us to march on.

Still need inspiration? Still want something to lift your spirits? Your timing is fortuitous, for there is indeed now something that will help you (admittedly, it's probably one of the biggest testosterone-filled hyper-masculinized man-films EVER made, but what the hell, it looks good...):

Ah yes, the Spartans, and their stand at the Battle of Thermopylae in 480 BC. A band of 300 against an army rumored to have numbered close to a million. According to historians, it was perhaps Sparta's finest hour and the pinnacle of their civilization’s ideals. At this battle, they put on full display the greatest of Spartan virtues: courage, skill, guile, discipline, determination, resourcefulness, self-reliance, loyalty, sacrifice.

They did this not for just for the sake of victory, but to also let the world know that this is who they were...That this. Is. Sparta.

Oh my, oh me. Why, it's enough to bring tears to this Viking's eye. They are truly worthy of a place of Valhalla!


No comments: