I was talking to a co-worker friend of mine today, and she told me that one of her other running friends will be in Chicago this year (for the marathon) trying to qualify for Boston. He told her that if he makes it to Boston, next year he is doing an Ironman.
When you put your mind and body into it, you can do anything. I am a firm believer in that!
I wish that I had his gumption. I have to say - that is a special sort of someone. Not thin, not fast, not anything but freaking determined and with a LOT of dedication! Talk about the ultimate sacrifice. But from what I hear, when you finish and they call your name followed by "YOU are an Ironman" nothing feels better in the world.
I wish my friend's friend so much luck, and I hope that in 2008 he becomes an Ironman! How awesome.
I think that the satisfaction from finishing such a feat is that you are rewarded for all of the long days of training. You work hard, do without certain things, get in the best shape you possibly can, and go for it. You make your body do something that you never relly thought possible. You grow as a person. You really find inner strength and courage. You test yourself.
Personally, I will never earn the title of Ironman. I say that with all honesty. It is a title for someone else to earn. Someone who strives for that next big thing to do, or someone who truly enjoys training hours on end, pushing their bodies to those extremes. Either way, they EARN that title.
It is a long, wonderful yet sometimes scary journey to IM. I just never will have it in me. I struggle with 26.2 miles of running... and I definitely struggle with training! I just know that I cannot handle the job of training for that race. I honetly wish I did. But, I will leave that title to all of you true Iron willed people who remain my inspiration to push on. To push forward.
The awesome thing, is that this sport weeds out the phoneys. Ironmen are NEVER people who do it simply for the fact that they want recognition. Those people do not have the heart, dedication, or preserverance to put in the blood sweat and tears it takes to become one of the IM elite. I respect every IM out there. You all rock my socks and really have character to push on. I love that!
For me, the tri is something I have been afraid of only due to one aspect. Sucking. (You thought that I was going to say "swimmming" didn't you? Yeah, I can be unpredictable!) I suck as a runner. I suck as a biker. I really suck as a swimmer. Why oh why can I not do well one of the three? Must I be doomed to suck at every freaking sport (volleyball and soccer aside). The answer is NO.
I will not always suck, but I am a beginner in this sport. And you all must start somewhere. Would I be a complete loser to quote Harry Potter? Nope? OK then - as Harry put it so correctly - "Even the best wizards started off here where we are now. In school. Learning this." That is how I feel. I am on a long journey. I am taking my time, and someday will reap the rewards of all of my hard work.
Those reward? Finishing the race knowing that I just grew a little bit more as a person.
So I leave you with this thought - Work hard for what you enjoy doing. If you are feeling down, or if you are thinking that you do not have it in you - take a step back and look at the big picture.
You DO have it in you. The first step is believing that. The second is putting your mind to it, and do not let any little set-backs stop you from making forward motion. In the end it is what makes us move forward that counts.
No one ever crossed the finish line looking backwards.
So to all of my running friends, my non-running friends, my tri-friends, and of course those iron willed IM peeps - keep on looking forward out there! The view is SO much better.
RunnerGirl is gaining forward motion.