It’s May 2009, and I am 22 years old (soon to be 23). I had just finished my first 7 months in the “real world”. Working in the public accounting field and studying for my CPA exams had taken a toll on me both physically and mentally. Luckily, I had made it through the worst of it. I shouldn’t say luckily, because really we always “make it through”, it just seems more difficult at times than others. I needed an outlet and going to the gym just wasn’t cutting it. Ever since I had been to Kona in March of 2009 I had a certain itch to try this triathlon business. I had done a sprint triathlon a long time ago but that was in 2004 when I was just messing around and having some fun. It didn’t go very well and I never got caught up in the sport, I will blame my really old and heavy bike, but the reality was that I was just caught up in playing baseball and doing a lot of other things. Racing triathlon and trying to be the best you can at it takes a lot of time, effort, and patience. Something I did not have at that time….at all. Truthfully I probably didn’t have much patience a couple years ago when I got into this sports. However, triathlon unlike anything else has taught me patience and how if you work towards something with all your efforts that you can achieve your goals, it usually just takes a long time to attain. I’ve grown so much in the last two years. The simple fact of training for an Ironman triathlon really brings out the true character of a person. Sure you can go through the motions and if your young enough, or gifted enough you can “fake” your way through the race and have a very disappointing time, and hurt the whole way. That’s not how it is for me. Right from the start I had numbers, I had goals…they were pretty crazy goals in retrospect, however now that I look at them and see how far I have come along I can only imagine that I will be achieving these goals in the very near future, I have no doubt of that. I guess the point that I am trying to make here is that a lot has changed for me in the past 2 years. I have found something to do that I love. I have never been as dedicated to anything in my life. Personally, race day is it for me. It is the day where everyone is on the same level, a day of judgement if you will. When you get to the starting line the only thing that matters is getting to the finish line as fast as possible. Your training, preparation, toughness, fitness is all tested and you cannot hide. It doesn’t matter what you look like when your doing it, all the matters is that you do it. When you finish a race, no matter what your time…you earned it. You did it yourself. There is no genetic blue print for the optimal triathlete. What matters is the effort your put into your training and your preparation and come race day your mental and physical toughness gets put to the test. At its root its a personal battle, what better way to make yourself a better person than to challenge your pre-conceived notions of what is possible. I imagine that for many people the thought of doing triathlons and racing in an Ironman was extremely daunting to them before they started training. If you have now completed one, how do you feel? I imagine that you are extremely proud of your accomplishment and if you went back to the way you thought before that you would laugh at how much of a challenge you thought it was going to be. The big secret to it all is dedication. Are you willing to train?…to sacrifice some things? Believe me, ANYONE can do this stuff, its all a matter of getting your head in the right spot. Once you have a direction the only person that can stop you is yourself.
So I have been typing away here and I have not really talked about what I was planning on talking about at the start of this blog. I wanted to share a sort of personal anniversary with you all. And I will…in a just a little bit, stop back in a little while 🙂