Youthful Exuberance

Posted: June 1, 2011 in Motivation
Tags: ,

Last year when I was training and racing for Dom it was amazing to me how many lessons I was taking from the way he was attacking his cancer treatments and pouring that into my training.  That is a testament to how universal courage is as a motivator. 

I was learning more about running watching someone who was struggling just to get out of bed each morning and walk the length of a hallway than I was from my “runner friends” who were out crushing the roads and trails mile after mile.

Lessons are everywhere.  You just have to keep your eyes open and pay attention.

Last week was a big week for me as I broke out of whatever training funk I had been in and raced really well on Wednesday night.  I followed that up with a couple of really great workouts on Thursday and Friday and then a stellar Brick Workout on Saturday morning.  Riding 15 miles just under 20 mph, then immediately switched shoes and ran 5 miles at 6:41 pace.  I just crushed it.

My lesson for the week however was delivered by our 9-month old daughter Landry.

Landry 9-Months

Landry, Dawn and I were leaving the house to run a few errands.  For those of you who have or have had little ones, leaving the house is no longer as simple as it used to be.  There are things to get, bags to pack, babies to strap in.  Phones not to leave on the counter, not enough hands to carry everything, lists to remember.

I was carrying Land out to the car and going to get her all strapped into her seat while Dawn ran back inside for a quick moment.  Since the car was in the garage in our 95 degree heat here in Austin, I decided I would just hop in the front seat with Landry, start the car and the air conditioning, back into the driveway, and then strap her into her car seat.

I let Landry stand in my lap after I backed up about 10 feet and put the car in park.  She grabbed onto the steering wheel with her hands at the “10 and 2” positions on the wheel and was smiling ear to ear.  I had her beeping the horn as she bounced up and down in my lap, laughing like this was the greatest and coolest thing she had ever experienced.

As I sat there watching her I realized just how exciting new things can be when you are little.

The first time that you do anything as a child is simply awesome, it is filled with uncertainty, excitement, and the opportunity to learn and achieve something you have never done before.  How great is that?

When we get older however, “new” means “change” and we all know how terrible that is right?  Things are always better if they just stay the same.  We don’t want to go out of our comfort zone and try anything where we have the chance to fail.  It’s just too risky.  Right?

How sad.

So as I watched my little girl get a kick out of her first driving lesson with Dad, I realized that the next time I got in the pool to train for our first triathlon in July – I was going to not think about it as work, but I was going to think about it the way that it should be thought of.

That this is fun.

It’s not like I’m going to be trying to qualify for the Ironman World Championships in Kona on July 31st, it’s going to be me and a couple of hundred other 40-something year olds trying our best to swim 500 Meters, Bike 13.8 miles and run 3 miles as fast as we can.

Afterwards we’ll tell our race stories and enjoy a couple of cold beers.

I’m determined to do my best, race my fastest and try my hardest.  That much I still owe Dom every time I step out onto a race course of any type and any distance. 

But I think I also owe a little something to my daughter Landry.  I need to try to show her that new things can be exciting and wonderful, and that doesn’t have to stop just because you’re a “grown-up”.

Whatever the hell that means.

This week I made some additions to the walls in my office as I cropped and framed some of Landry’s artwork.  I thought you would enjoy seeing some of her paintings.

"My Earth"

 Painting Number Two

Abstract on Purple

Painting Number Three

Neo-Classical Interpretation of Man’s Struggle with Self

Painting Number 4


Painting Number 5

One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish

If you are interested in “Art by Landry”, please reach out to me at She is very prolific, and would be happy to produce something for your home, office or refrigerator door.

  1. Jodi says:

    Isn’t it amazing what you can learn through others, especially children? My daughter taught me a great lesson this weekend when I ran her 3rd 5K with her. (

    And I seriously love Landry’s artwork! I would be willing to pay a pretty penny for it!! 🙂

    • Joseph Marruchella says:

      Hi Jodi! Great lessons from those little ones for sure! Was so great to read about your race with your daughter this past weekend. Next time we are racing in the same city, I will absolutely make sure Landry has a painting for you! Take good care! J

  2. Joe, I’m always impressed by you. I love that you framed Landry’s artwork… it really looks like stunning artwork you’d find in a gallery when presented in that way!

    Great post… you remind me of the great things about children, so many of my friends only write negative things online about the difficult aspects of parenthood.

    • Joseph Marruchella says:

      Hi Jill! So great to hear from you, thanks for stopping by to visit. I think every new parent goes through periods where they ask themselves, “what have I gotten myself into”, but there is something truly remarkable about seeing a little part of you develop and grow right before your eyes. I joked with Dawn that if Landry ever becomes an accomplished artist, these drawings will be worth a fortune down the road. I have a feeling that she is going to be great at just about anything she chooses. I’m even amazed by how quickly she has learned to feed herself her “puffs”! Best to you Jill! Hope your gang is great!

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