Ironman Wisconsin is less than a month away, and I’ve decided all of these crazy thoughts, this obsession, and this excessive planning can only mean one thing: Ironman makes me feel like a kid.
I’ve heard the average 4-year-old laughs 400 times a day. They have no pre-conceptions, they just feel and respond to life around them. What a beautiful thought.
That’s exactly what happens to me when I’m swimming in the lake these days. It’s just so free and in touch with the core elements of life. The oxygen, the water, the sunshine. What is purer than that?
Ultimately, that’s what I love about the Ironman experience.
The other day I listened to a podcast with Tony Robbins and he was on this rant about the difference between achievement and fulfillment. He used the example of Robin Williams, who was arguably loved by most people. Williams achieved everything he set out to do as a comedian and actor, but in the end, for some reason, he wasn’t fulfilled.
Robbins also spoke about growth in the context of, if we’re not growing, we’re dying. Sometimes I struggle with how that relates to money and business, but ultimately his point was the more you grow, the more you have to share, and for me, that’s the driving force behind my Ironman training.
When I decided to start training, the ultimate goal was to find a more consistent, healthier self. To be able to be free with love, healthy, and laughing like a 4-year-old. I wanted to figure out what was important and share with those around me. It comes in waves, but ultimately I think I’m on the right track.
This will be my fourth Ironman and I may be more excited for this one than any before. The first was great, but there was a major fear factor. The next two felt like something I “had to do.” This one has renewed my enthusiasm.
It’s a learning cycle in so many ways. The newness perks you up, the reality bites for a while, then you start to do it naturally.
The other night I watched a ton of Ironman Wisconsin Swim videos in effort to figure out my starting spot. From the outside it probably seems like the dumbest thing ever, but for me, it was fun like playing whiffle ball with high school buddies.
Mostly, I think I’m excited about this race because I have been working hard (and it gives me legitimate reason for massages). I feel like I’m ready to take it to a new level. And that’s the kind of thought I want to translate into life, work, and relationships.
In the end, Ironman is a very long race on one day, but it’s the preparation and patterns we create along the way that are most important. My implementation of those patterns has been intermittent but I feel like this long, 4-year-journey is starting to make sense.
So, as I think about floating in the cool Madison water on the morning of September 11th, I also think about today and what comes after the race. Will I continue to put myself through this grind? I don’t know, but if I keep feeling younger than I did yesterday, I’m pretty sure the answer will be yes.
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