I often wonder why I signed up to do Ironman Wisconsin. It’s a huge physical and fiscal commitment that will take a ton of time and dedication but when I’m done . . . I walk away with a medal, t-shirt and the right to tattoo the Ironman logo on my right ass cheek.
Sometimes I wonder if this is a big ego trip that will make me feel like someone I’m not. But the truth is, I believe this process will bring me closer to who I am.
Life can suck juice out of the best plans. I mean, is it really natural for humans to sit in a classroom 7 hours a day until they are 22 years old, or in my case 30? Then tackle a career by sitting at a desk 8 hours a day until you’re too old to move? To top it all off, we spend the time that’s left on a couch or a rocking chair before hitting early bird supper.
I know I’m generalizing, but sometimes I walk around the office and look at dozens of people spending half their waking lives gazing at a computer screen. And I can’t talk because I do the same thing, but frankly, that is some weird shit!
For me, the Ironman represents a quest to re-discover the purest form of my humanity. It’s motivation that forces me to move, and along the way I anticipate dozens of side benefits–including some super tasty physiological treats.
But, there is definitely ego. Or, at the very least, a need to rekindle a life of competition that faded away. I played competitive sports most of my life and truly miss the high of winning. But winning, when it comes to an Ironman or any kind of individual endurance sport, rarely means first place.
Winning is giving an honest effort to be your best and that is far more than clipping a few seconds off a stopwatch. It’s about being healthy, clear, happy, honest, and releasing the person that’s been tied down in the corner.
And it’s hard when you invest this much in yourself because you have to evolve. It takes patience and courage to leave the chair behind. There must be movement, and when you move, it can seem like you’re running away from who you are. But, for me, moving is simply re-discovering the best man inside and hanging out with him more often.