My Reaction to Ironman Texas

23 May

(I wrote this only an hour after leaving Houston, while still in the car.  It is my initial response to an amazing day.)

Ironman Texas…

I always love being in the presence of athletes.  They let me know what the human body is capable of.  Being an athlete is not just about health or fitness.  It goes beyond health, to performance.  It asks the questions, “How far?” and “How fast?”

While I am yet a newbie runner and an even newer cyclist, I stand amazed at the men and women who push their bodies beyond the boundaries of what 99.9% of the population would consider sane by competing in Ironman competitions.

Take into consideration that it is not a show up on race day and do 12 hours of hard work.  These people put in hours and hours of training every week – hours of swimming – hours of cycling – hours of running – hours of stretching – hours of foam rolling – hours of analyzing data – hours of sweating.  They lay it down week after week in training, all building up to a race where they give their all, all day long.

I would imagine that the Ironman journey begins in the mind. It probably starts with the question, “Could I do that?, or with the declaration, “I bet I could do that!” And every day, that same question or declaration is likely revisited.

I am only training to run 13.1 miles and I already face a mental battle.  There are some days I think, “I can run 13 miles.” Other days, I think, “There is no way that I am going to be able to do this.”

The more I read about triathletes and see them perform, the more their insanity makes sense to me and the more respect I have for them.

The true competitors (whether competing with themselves or an actual pro) are driven peope.  They set foals and live their daily lives in an effort to achieve those goals. Their sport requires dedication to now one, but three sports.

Maybe they are insane.  But it seems to me, that it may be the best kind of insanity.  The kind that refuses the ordinary and embraces possibility.  The kind that does not stop at, “Who am I?” and goes beyond to, “Who can I be?”

Yes. they spend their time and money in ways that many of us could not understand, but we all choose how to spend our time and money in line with our own priorities.

In reality we are all masters of something.  There is something that we are pouring hours of time and effort into. None of us has the luxury of only focusing on one aspect of life. We all have to juggle more than one “sport”.

Life without goals is aimless. You’ll get no where quickly.

It is not one of my goals to do an Ironman. But, my response to volunteering at this weekend’s race was that I set some goals.  I took out a pad of paper and wrote down a list of 5 fitness goals that I have for the next year of my life.

Do you have goals written down?

When was the last time you felt amazed by the strength of persistence and discipline?

There is a good chance that it has been way too long.

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