I was going through the blogs just now and came upon Valen's latest entry in his blog The Road To Budapest. For those of you unfamiliar with Valen, he is from New Zealand and has been blogging since April about his preparations for the ITU World Triathlon Championships, which are coming up this weekend in Budapest.
He posted this picture on his blog today:
Valen is in London this week putting the finishing touches on his training. In this picture he is running along the south bank of the Thames. That's Big Ben and Parliament in the background. That's also a "Free Yourself" t-shirt he is wearing.
Here's why I love this picture - Regular readers will remember a few posts in August where I talked about my past struggles with alcohol and how triathlon has been a huge part of my recovery. In one of the posts, I told a story about being really drunk one night in London. The story is not worth re-telling here, but the short version is that it involves me, too much to drink, a mini-cab, at least £100, Big Ben and the Parliament building. The story is a perfect example of how I used to behave and how easy it was to be stupid and reckless.
"Free Yourself" was a mantra for change before it was a t-shirt. I still think or say these words every day. Making it into a t-shirt was an afterthought, really. It seemed like the best way to share an idea. So to see a picture of someone I don't know very well wearing the shirt while training for a huge race with Big Ben and Parliament in the background is a pretty powerful image to me. The picture ties a few things up in a nice neat bow. I like nice neat bows.
Thanks for posting the picture, Valen. It's funny how things work out sometimes. Good luck in Budapest. And when you get home, I may hit you up for a high resolution jpeg of this picture.