At this car wash I change my five for quarters, line them up head up on the small damp metal rack next to the coin slot. I count out eight and drop them into the slot, watching the small red button illuminate to signal GO.

For 4 and 1/2 minutes I race the clock, rinsing, scrubbing, foam brushing and rinsing the van and trailer. I a furiously working in the Vegas sunlight, sweat trickling down the sides of my head, panting racing around the trailer. My deltoids scream and cry out. I reach and stretch and run around in my flip flops and prep day shorts and tee shirt. I am wet, sweating, victorious mess in 4.5 minutes. I just competed with myself to wash the monstrosity in 4.5 minutes. Competing with myself for no reason. Competition alone.

I have kids on trip standing in the campground in Death Valley. I have them lined up in a tunnel formation. How they could have survived life without understanding a football tunnel is beyond me. We take a few moments and I explain tunnel etiquette and then we take turns running down the tunnel. I open my mouth and out of it comes a shout, deep and lengthy, CHRIS! HUUSSSTTTTLLLEE UP! For a moment I am perplexed, as I just heard my father words escape from my mouth.

We finish our hot prep day and I change into running gear, counting down the days until the pending triathlon. I am half way through my run when I turn a corner and hit a small child on a bike. He gives out a surprised yelp and I stumble backwards. The kid falls off his bike and I am gasping for breath. The bar has hit my square in the gut and knocked out my wind. As I heave for a inward breath I see the kid slowly making his way to his knees. Before I can even ask if he is OK my words seep out. Walk it off, Kid. You're fine. He gives me a half glare half smile and remounts his bike and pedals into the early evening light.

Four days of trip leading ahead, last for a short while, and this day has been dominated by my dad, miles away. For some reason today was for you, Dad...

Maybe I will tell my guests that Diamonds are Made Out of Pressure. Or if you think you can or think you can't you're right. We will seal off the trip with a high five tunnel and I will laugh my way all the way back home.