Challenging my body to a 2.4 mile swim, 112 mile bike, and 26.2 mile run was something I never really dreamed to do. Even after competing in triathlons for 5 years, Ironman really wasn’t on my radar. The time commitment didn’t seem to mesh with my whole laid back, balanced Libra vibe, and I was pretty happy just hammering out shorter distances. So when Lance proposed this idea to me, I was hesitant to say the least, and even after my mind agreed to the concept, it still took time before my heart and soul were convinced.
So we planned our large-scale season. The full marathon in May, Rhode Island 70.3 in July, and the full Ironman in August seemed like a lofty schedule full of leery, looming firsts—no fun, just stress. ‘Firsts’ present an unknown, and the unknown causes fear.
So just as important as physically training for this season of long distance unknowns was training the mind to deal with unsubstantiated fear. Sometimes when people are presented with situations that cause these emotions they run—even when the actual experience has the potential to positively change their lives forever. So even after a successful marathon and 70.3, fear began to bulldoze my brain. I fought. Fought with myself for a solid 2 weeks leading up to the big day. Convincing my brain that all these terrifying unknowns were not worth my energy…it was exhausting.
The day of the Ironman was everything I ever wished it would be. Taking the best advice of staying positive and enjoying the day, I entered the race focused but aware and open to the atmosphere surrounding me. The water was warm, the sun shone bright, the bike course was breathtaking, and the energy was electric. It was overwhelming at times, and surreal to this day.
I’m not going to get into a whole race report here (but be sure to read Lance’s full race report) because this isn’t completely about doing an Ironman—I know that’s not for everyone—but it is about challenging yourself and taking a risk. It’s about setting concrete goals and accomplishing them. It’s about persevering, even through pain, stress and fear, because you know how sweet the finish line will taste. It’s about inspiring yourself and everyone around you to redefine ‘impossible’.
So you may not ever do an Ironman…or maybe you will. Maybe you will do something you never thought you would, or could do…and maybe you’ll surprise yourself. Maybe you will take an unimaginable step in the right direction despite the fear of the unknown…and maybe you’ll unveil an entire new layer of life.
What’s Your Fruition?