Over the weekend I attended an AA meeting in support of a friend. Before the meeting started, I was having a conversation with a lady who was marveling about doing an Ironman.
“It’s just crazy, I don’t know how you do it!”
On many levels, I agree with her. It is a overwhelming to think about as a whole.
But, I didn’t tackle the 140.6 miles the day I signed up, I slowly built confidence day after day.
A 5K turned into a 10K into a half marathon, etc . . . and I was surrounded by people just like me doing the same thing. It made these feats more manageable, and more importantly, believable.
Everything about Ironman loses its mystery over time. In my case, after about a year, I just did it.
Coincidently, my friend was at this AA meeting to receive his one-year chip. One year of listening, learning, and doing the work.
He made it! Well, he made it to that day . . . but it doesn’t mean it’s over.
After the meeting it dawned on me that most things in life, including Ironman and AA, are about convincing yourself you can do something, and that’s always easier when you are surrounded by people on the same mission. It’s that support, that big picture focus, and visual reinforcement that keep us on track.
AA works because they are always around by people accomplishing the things everyone wants. It’s a road map and constant reminder that anything is possible. “Quit drinking forever?!?,” impossible. Quit drinking today, “Sure, I can do that.”
But we forget if we’re not around people going through the same thing. We go into our heads and rationalize the easy way out.
I’m also pretty sure this is why religion thrives. We’re all in this together . . . we just need to be reminded.