The Chinese zodiac uses a 12-year cycle representing a cyclical concept of time. With each year represented by an animal, the Chinese zodiac can be much more useful than the moon signs utilitzed in much of the world. In addition to offering broadly general personality traits, knowledge of an animal signs allows for fairly accurate guesses at an individuals age without asking the taboo question, "How old are you?"
Born in 1968, I am a monkey. If you ask my mother, she will tell you, I'm a monkey regardless of what year I was born. Of course, I think that has less to do with personality traits assigned by a zodiac chart and more to do with an odd penchant for climbing anything with handholds. Then again, monkeys are far less prone to falling (and the associated broken limbs) than I.
2007 is the year of the boar or pig. People born in the year of the pig are extremely dedicated. They put all their strength into any effort the undertake. Retreat is rarely an option. And when you befriend a boar, you have a friend for life.
While I have little control over the Chinese zodiac, I am declaring 2007 to be The Year of the Ironman. Ironmen, and those pursuing that goal, have many of the traits exhibited by boars. They are extremely dedicated, see obstacles as something to be overcome, and are fast friends once you've managed to divert some of their attention away from training.
In addition, the Ironman is extremely disciplined and organized. Even the most disorganized Ironman is capable of juggling training, family, work, and other commitments for many months at a time. The Ironman is often up long before the sun rises and generally completes more training before sunup than many complete in an entire day (or week).
And for me, 2007 is the year I will become an Ironman. It is fitting that this be accomplished in the year of the pig. So, join me in making 2007 the Year of the Ironman. Our impact on Chinese culture may be minimal, but we can certainly share the fire of our pursuit with others.