Inspiration for the Ironman
I got an email from my friend Paul who recently
raced IRONMAN Canada that I'd like to let you peek at.
For those who don't know what an Ironman is, it's one of the most
challenging and grueling sports to not only compete in but to complete.
Racers swim 2.4 miles, bike 112 miles and run a 26.2 mile marathon course.
Paul has been inspirational ‘cause the guy is 6'3”
and about 215 pounds. He towers over the other racers.
Yet, doesn’t let his physical dimensions hold him back. He’s a
Kona Ironman finisher and recently this one in Canada.
One of my future goals is to race an Ironman.
I like to surround myself with the people who have what I want–
just as I instruct you to do in these emails. So when Paul speaks, I listen.
Anyways, after the race I asked Paul how it went.
He told me the swim portion went well and when
he got on the bike segment (remember 112 mile course)
he ran into a few challenges.
As he ascended 1700 feet part of the course, he “bonked” (body gave up).
So he rested about 30 minutes and then decided to keep going.
He eventually finished the bike course and
continued to the run segment.
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Amazed at his determination, I asked him,
“What did your inner voice say to motivate you to climb
back on the bike and peddle again?”
Especially considering most would’ve called it a day.
Here is what he shared:
“Great question - I suppose the answer is nothing and
a lot....First, I acknowledged that it was a long day and
that there was enough time to recover. I did not panic.
I believed in myself (always have). I knew it was a mental
battle that I was equipped to win.
But, there were voices telling me that I don't want to hurt
that much. On the flip side, particularly with the blisters, I simply
told my mind to shut up....to be somewhat philosophical, I think
about how lucky I am to be given the physical gifts to participate
in this sport.
I have a couple of mental images of people whom I
have know who are physically challenged and say that it is
my duty to not give in - for I have the capacity,
I was given the opportunity - and I need to go on.
Also, the deeper you get into the race, the more at stake there is -
It’s easier to give in early...less sacrifice has been made...but by the time
you turn the 13.1 mile point, you HAVE TO COMPLETE IT.
Additionally, there are tons of signs along the race path put up
by friends of other athletes...the one that was there the most was,
'Pain is temporary, pride is permanent'....Otherwise, you have
squandered/wasted the effort and pains so far....”
Thanks for your boost of inspiration today!
My college coach, Gary Blackney, used to say,
“Just when you think you have nothing left, and zero
energy to give– you probably have a good thirty
percent to pull you through.”
How true that saying was yesterday and still is today.
Sounds like you had about 90% in your reserve tank!!
By Vince Palko
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