Why do I train for Ironman? Every day that seems to be the question, and every day the answer seems to evolve.
I feel like life is about exploring limits and using the potential of your body and mind to reach a higher state of evolution. Life is a mystery, and weaving yourself its fabric seems to be the best way of finding answers. Ironman training is a vehicle.
Just over a year ago I quit my job. I “sort of” had a plan, but the main objective was to get away from something that was draining my soul. It was no one’s fault but mine.
Life is meant to evolve. Every good idea blooms into something bigger.
The guy who makes organic help his neighbors feel better eventually sees the potential windfall, opens a small shop on the corner, then simplifies ingredients to become the Smoothie King. It’s all quite fucked up, and normal.
I got into running to feel better. I got addicted to running to go faster. I tried triathlon to see if I could. I do Ironman because I want to see how far I can go.
I also use Ironman as a vehicle to keep me focused. It’s omnipresent and points me in a direction.
On some level, Ironman is my passion, but ultimately it’s the constant training that jars me on a daily basis. It slaps me in the face and reminds me to live.
Look around, there are people everywhere who can’t even walk. What would they give to do an Ironman?
People are sick, dying, relegated to a bed. People who have lost legs, arms, their dignity.
This is why I do Ironman, and sometimes I remember.
I remember how amazing it feels to be able to drop everything and run 6 or 10 miles with ease, just because I want to. I am able . . . and never want to forget.
Since I quit my job (quitting in the sense I quit trying to be someone else) I haven’t quite figured out what’s next, but I use training as a force of consistency that drags me closer to clarity.
My dad used to say, “I don’t care what you do as long as you produce,” and to be honest, that always confused me. Produce what?
I always thought he meant “be successful,” but the more I think about it, I think he just meant “do something productive.”
And that’s really what it boils down to. I train for Ironman because it is a clear, tangible, and positive alternative to lying in bed or on a couch with a beer in my hand wondering what to do next. Training is “doing something” It’s a motion, it’s momentum, it’s production.
For an hour or three every day, I am producing. It’s a gateway drug I trust will open my body and mind to embrace new challenges.
It’s the wake up call that says, “Hey, I understand this life-shit is confusing, but keep moving, keep pushing the blood through your veins, and eventually you will uncover what you already know.”
Life is for living and (for now) I use Ironman to remind me.