A few weeks ago I was chatting with a client of mine and now good friend Mark, we were both in Singapore and the setting was an unusual one, it was the recovery tent at the recent Singapore 70.3 triathlon, we were both totally exhausted from racing in the humidity and he looked across at me and confessed “you know this is my fault? I did this to you”. He was right, in 2006 we had lunch together and when I asked him what he was doing on the weekend he said he was competing in an Ironman triathlon, I wasn’t sure what that was and when I enquired he told me it was a 3.9km swim + 180km cycle+ 42.2km marathon run with no break in between each leg. I thought he was stupid and then said something that made me king of the idiots “if you complete that, I will do it with you the following year”.
You guessed it, he completed it and 12 months later I was standing waste deep in the water at Busselton jetty awaiting for the starters gun to go off to commence the first leg of a very long day. We both finished successfully that year and since then many things in my life have changed. Its amazing how one comment, one chance meeting, one incident can have such an impact on one’s life. We can be standing at a fork in the road and depending on which path we choose to take, it can have dramatic consequences on our lives some good some bad. Interestingly these are not always life changing and a lot of the time you don’t realise that this chance meeting or conversation will change your life. I find it interesting to look back on my relationship, career, chosen recreational activity and pinpoint it back to that fork in the road, and think about that individual that changed my life, and what would have happened if we hadn’t met. They may have introduced you to your wife, or motivated you to start exercising and now you run marathons, or convinced you to take a risk on a different career path and now you are happier and financially better off that you have ever been. What would have happened if you had not met this person, where would you be now? Who was present at your fork in the road?
This weekend is Anzac day; remember all those before us that have fought for our freedom over the years and what would have happened to you and me if they had not taken that risk at their important fork in the road.
Lest we forget.