I’m not sure what was the specific trigger for me. It could have that my first triathlon nearly killed me being overweight and unprepared combined with my natural competitiveness. It could be my long-time admiration for those few that bore the title of Ironman, or it could have been this deep search for the endorphin-induced zen-like feeling on a long bike ride. It could be my desire to overcome my struggling with running or becoming a well rounded athlete. Whatever it was, I fell in love with it…I fell in love with the triathlon.
Of all the candidates that the sport would put a grasp on, I might be an unlikely one. I certainly do not have the body for it with my weak knees, my bum ankle, poor shoulders and injured back. I most definitely don’t have the time for it with 2 children, one more on the way, a wonderful wife and a demanding job requiring significant travel. Finally, I certainly don’t have the background having never run more than 6 miles which was back during basic training nor taken any coaching in either of the 3 sports required to succeed. But all those things would be excuses.
There have been many before me that have competed despite countless excuses. The likes of Jon Blaise the ALS warrior poet, Sara Reinersten an above the knee amputee, or the famous Team Hoyt all would have the best excuses in the world not to get on the starting line. But they didn’t focus on what they couldn’t do, instead, they set their mind to it and did whatever it took to not only get to the starting line but to finish proudly, often despite repeated failures. As you study the sport, one would be hard-pressed not to find inspiration at every corner, finding the stories of those who said “I Can” and lifted their spirits and ours.
Yet despite all the external inspiration one may find, only your personal commitment will push you through the training and lead you to the finish line. John Collins, founder of the Ironman said speaking of the race that it “has always been about finishing what you started. About being able to do what you’ve set out to do. Maybe not as fast as the person in front of you, but certainly faster than the person who never started”. Few words have sounded truer to me or resonated as much, but more importantly, it is that which drives me. It is the idea to complete something you’ve set out to do despite excuses or reasons and teaching my children the importance of setting goals and achieving them.
Fortuna Fortes, or “Fortune favors the brave” has resonated with me over the years in that only those who dare are rewarded. Daring to complete an Ironman is bold yet the challenge in seeking to reach the goal in my lifetime must be one balanced with my other passions including my family, business and technology. These passions along with my chosen sport must coexist together despite the certainty of numerous conflicts. This is my journey to capture my goal and balance my passions.