A common question when someone finds out you are training for an Ironman is “why would you do that?” (often asked facetiously with a hint of sarcasm). It can be a tough question to answer as most people don’t really want the long answer and most people don’t begin the journey to 140.6 miles with a short answer for “why”. I have been meaning to write a version of this post for a while. In fact, I have a couple different drafts started and waiting patiently for me in my dashboard. On my 5.5 hour ride a couple weekends ago I spent a lot of time reflecting on the why while spending some time in the pain cave.
I spend a lot of time around people who have big dreams. And let me tell you, it’s contagious. If you don’t believe me, come spend a bit of time with some of the folks I get to call my friends and you will soon change your tune. It’s amazing the things that they have done–swimming 34 miles in the ocean, running 100 miles at one time, completing an Ironman, and much more. When I first got to hang out with them, I couldn’t even run around the block, but that didn’t stop them from encouraging me to start training for my first triathlon. That next summer I did 4 super sprint triathlons and one full sprint. And then on a whim, three of us decided to sign up as a relay for a 70.3 the next summer. The trend for bigger dreams continued and needless to say, now I am signed up for Ironman Florida and have been training for this goal for almost a year! Who would have thought?! Definitely not me 6 years ago. But at some point as I began to hang out with these people who set big goals for themselves and achieved them, I realized that I could do it, too! And now when someone says to me they could never do a triathlon, I reply back to them “of course you can.” Because here’s the thing, if you believe you can’t you won’t. So what does it hurt to believe you can and try.
Yes, Ironman training has me spending a lot of time running and biking and swimming. But Ironman training is about condition your mind as well as your body to complete the race. These friends of mine have helped me with both and I will ever be grateful for having them in my life. And no matter what happens in the next six weeks, I know that I will be an Ironman. If it doesn’t happen in this November, it will happen.
So after rereading my post I realized I might have answered more about “How” than “Why” so maybe I will have to keep working some of those other drafts after all.