Thursday, March 26, 2015
Last Leg of My Book Writing Triathlon
There's an eerie common thread connecting my writing activities with my younger years as a triathlete when I dreamed of one day competing in an Iron Man Triathlon. My two entries in half iron man races ended up short of the finish line. In Arizona, I breezed through the 1.2 mile lake swim and felt great on the 56 mile bike ride somewhere in the middle of the pack of about 700 competitors. Then, my chain broke at mile thirty while I was shifting gears. I was disqualified. Undaunted, I made a second attempt in Hawaii. The ocean waves were huge and the rip tides were nearly impossible to escape. I remember clinging to the ocean piers near the end of the swim while the fierce undertow tried to suck me back out. I could see the triathletes behind me being plucked out of the water by rescue boats. I refused to acquiesce to Mother Nature and made it out of the water barely in time to beat the deadline for the first leg of the race. The fifty-six mile bike ride was hilly and exhausting but I paced myself, conserving energy for the half-marathon at the end. When I got off my bike, one of the officials told me I was done. I missed the deadline by one minute and I was disqualified. "Sorry," he told me. "They need to open up the highway and you're too late." I never made it to the run segment and I never saw the finish line. The experience was devastating.
Most writers never make it out of the water to publish their first book. Mother Nature refuses to let go of them while they clutch the sand with worn out fingers and fatigued bodies. I know I wouldn't have published God's Black Sheep Squadron without my writing mentors to teach me how to swim. I can't even count how many hills I needed to overcome to write my second book. The Caveman in the Mirror didn't cross the finish line on time on March 17 due to technical difficulties but I see it limping in from the horizon and this part of the challenge is about to be in the books.
The last leg of my book writing triathlon officially begins today. It's a one hundred day sprint to the finish line. Everything I've done with my life up to this point, including two failed attempts at crossing the finish line in my half iron man races, has prepared me for what lies ahead. Race officials are watching the clock and Mother Nature will do her best to interfere with my date with destiny on the 4th of July. The only broken chain on this adventure will be from Break the Chains of Debt Bondage. I plan to blow out the candles on my fifty-fifth birthday cake on Independence Day and pass out autographed copies of my third book at the finish line. Have a great day.