I have been reading “Iron War” by Matt Fitzgerald. It has been a very entertaining read despite the lack of input or review by either Dave Scott or Mark Allen. It has been personally relevant as 1989 was the year I completed my first triathlon, the “Bud Light” distance Memphis in May. In a couple of Ebay searches I even discovered that at one point I owned the official race poster (I could buy it back for a mere $29). Even the video could be had for $18.50 + $3 shipping and handling.
I really enjoy Fitzgerald’s writing. He has enough experience with the sport to put in great side notes regarding triathlon personalities, sports science and the heart of a triathlete. I met Dave Scott at a seminar once in 2009. He was then 55 years old and was in incredible shape. I also had the opportunity to meet Mark Allen at a book signing but did not take advantage of it. A recurring theme of the book is Scott’s brute force approach to racing, similar to how Prefontaine has been described. Allen, though 4 years younger, is presented as a more introspective racer who faced personal demons and sought edges through a variety of mental and spiritual approaches. I never finished his book “Fit Soul, Fit Body” but as I recall it reinforced Fitzgerald’s presentation.
I may have different insights when I am finished, but so far it has been a great walk down memory lane. It has also reinforced that a person can accomplish great things with the proper motivation. In the past my athletic endeavors have been sabotaged by poor diet, lack of sleep due to late nights in front of the television or gambling, and poor planning in terms of organization and training schedule. This season will be different. I have the right family support and situation to dedicate myself to excellence.
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