There are many quotes about travel, but one of my favourites is by Robert Louis Stevenson:
"To travel hopefully is a better thing than to arrive, and the true success is to labour."
It pays to travel hopefully. After all, a lot can go wrong when you've got a cab ride, a flight, an adjoining flight, a cab ride, a car hire, and a 800k drive to get to your destination.
There is a lot ahead for the Athletic Powerhouse. There are physical challenges that require mental toughness. I didn't expect that the very act of travelling to prepare me for what's ahead but as it turns out, I've arrived more hopeful than I imagined.
The inflight entertainment had coverage of this year's Australian Ironman, as well as a documentary about James Castrission and Justin Jones kayaking across the ditch.
I'm probably just a sook, but every time I watch coverage of Ironman, I tear up. This time it happened in record time. Until this, I didn't think I'd spent all that much time thinking about the task ahead. Certainly, I wasn't feeling nervous, or even all that excited, about the trip ahead. But all it took was a couple of pros talking about their upcoming race, and the usual commentary about the amazing achievement of finishing an Ironman, and I couldn't help myself.
Obviously there was more going on in my head than I thought.
I really enjoyed hearing a little more about Tony Abbott's journey to Ironman. He felt under done, and given that he'd recently taken the reigns of the federal opposition, it's no wonder. It would have been really easy for him to withdraw from the event, but he went ahead with it. Perhaps he didn't do as well as he may have originally hoped, but he finished, and made a big impression on many of us by doing so.
Next up, Crossing the Ditch. What I loved about this doco was the humility of these two adventurers. They were the first to paddle the Tasman unassisted, but they emphasised that adventure isn't about being the first to do something amazing, it's about doing something outside of the ordinary - then bringing those experiences back to bear on your everyday life.
Both viewings had a profound impact, and might I say, just at the right time. In just under five weeks, I'll be attempting to finish my fourth Ironman triathlon. The good news is that the hard work is behind me. I've trained harder this time than ever before. If true success is to labour, then you could probably count me as a winner already.
This time though, that won't be enough. I'm apprehensive as hell. I've thought a lot about meeting the time goal I'll need to meet to succeed on the day.
So yes, I've travelled hopefully. While I arrived in La Grave this morning physically quite bereft from 48 hours of transit, psychologically and emotionally, I feel ready.
As much as anything, I'm hopeful that my labour will bring success.