My mate has returned victorious from the Hawaiian Ironman. His eyes glimmered with sheer pleasure as he recounted the experience - Chris McCormack running past as they pulled into their accommodation for the first time, glimpses of Michellie Jones, Normann Stadler... the who's who of Ironman triathlon all on the hallowed turf of The Big Island.
And race day - it all went too quickly he said, although his finish time was a way off his fastest. Some of those back here had wondered whether he was happy with his day. (His text messages said he was happy... but was he REALLY happy??)
As I hung off every word, there was no doubt that he'd enjoyed every moment. His smile showed everything - and I bet it remains firmly planted on his face for weeks yet.
It reminded me of watching the race coverage online. As women's winner Chrissy Wellington strode towards the finish line the commentators focussed on the fact that she was smiling all the way, with remarks such as "doesn't she know this is supposed to hurt???"
It seemed to me that they were missing the point. Chrissy Wellington was about to become the surprise winner of a World Championship. What's there NOT to smile about?
The saying goes that you should stop and smell the roses - and I guess my friend took the time to do so this time. Chrissy Wellington, though, proved that you don't need to slow down to enjoy the scent of life.