Technically there are still 3 days left before Ironman Louisville. I’ve been counting down, but keep forgetting to add the hours, and occasionally, like now when it says 23, that number is substantial. Hope I haven’t been freaking you out by leaving out a day.
Then again, many scientists argue that time is an illusion. Which makes me wonder, if there is technically no countdown clock, what is the real reason we’re racing Ironman?
Slowly, I think I am figuring that out.
Last year I was racing for many of the “wrong” reasons. Namely, I was trying to impress everyone, except myself.
I launched like a rocket at the moon, but when I got there, I didn’t have a plan. I celebrated for days before realizing, all that drive and energy was burned seeking a symbol. A time, a conquest, a medal.
But then, I was an Ironman, and, that alone didn’t open my world to happiness and satisfaction. I’d forgotten the real reason I signed up in the first place: to break up the plaque forming in my veins.
I wasn’t going to do another Ironman this year. I didn’t see the point in all the suffering. I suppose, that is proof that I was learning.
But I kept working out on my terms and started to find joy in the training. It was no longer “workout until I can’t move,” but exercise to unleash more energy.
Eventually, I registered for Louisville, but it still wasn’t for the right reason. The “glitz” is what ultimately drew me in. I wanted to be a part of the parade. I wanted to matter.
Now, just under 3 days from the shot of the cannon, I am looking at racing from a completely different perspective. I have accepted that I am simply excited to test my mind and body.
Ironman is one day and simply another in a long list of life’s deadlines. It’s a test to see if we can finish what we’ve started. A metaphor for all of those projects and dreams we want to complete. The more we finish something difficult, the easier it becomes to fold your laundry.
Have you thought about why you are doing an Ironman (or marathon or whatever)? There can only be one reason. We do it because we enjoy the challenge, and ultimately believe the process will help us get closer to the person we haven’t quite uncovered.