I’m trying to pull together a race report for Ironman Louisville, but it’s not coming easily. My first race at Wisconsin was off-the-charts excitement, but round two was much more Zen.
Wisconsin was a “prove it” race, while Louisville was more grabbing a lunch pail and going to work. My finish was faster the first time, but in many ways I feel better about the second because of when it happened and how I got there.
It has been a wild year that’s brought on many changes. I’ve become more selective, disciplined, and finally put a boot on the ground in pursuit of real passions.
I finally got the courage to walk away from a job that paid me well, but drug me through the mud. And I slowly built my health to a place that resembles what I envisioned when I started running two and a half years ago.
Real change takes time, and I’m far from finished.
I turned so far inward over the years that most of my social behaviors were muddled in lies or contorted behavior just to fit in for the moment. Everything was starting to seem fake.
I thought Ironman Wisconsin was the turning point, but it wasn’t even close. I was on an extreme high for a few weeks, then hit a ugly low.
I signed up for another half-triathlon a couple months later and it was a terrible experience. It poured gas on the fire and I was starting to lose faith in my path, but thankfully I remembered one of the most powerful things someone ever told me, “Big breakthroughs in life always happen right after some of your toughest times.”
It’s true. Nothing worthwhile comes easily.
We are always being tested by the universe and from Wisconsin until about two months ago I was fighting a tough battle. I had a bad race in New Orleans this Spring and almost threw in the triathlon towel, but something was telling me to hang on.
In May I signed up for Louisville. It wasn’t something I really “wanted” to do, but felt like I had to make another big commitment to drag me to the other side.
Sometime In June everything started clicking. I began to truly understand what my job was doing to me, and at the same time began to regain confidence the corporate world had stripped.
I started to really believe that life wasn’t all about making money. Then one day I wrote this line in my journal: I would rather starve following my passion than go through the rest of my life numb.
From that point on, I felt the stress melting from my bones. I started to enjoy training and felt healthier, all while letting go of the pressure I felt at work.
I’d made a breakthrough and began the process of closing the door on a job I’d held for 15 years. I let go of the symbolism of my “title” and focused on my soul. I wasn’t exactly sure what I should be doing next, but knew I couldn’t discover it without starting.
So I walked into the wild without a map. All I had to remember is one direction . . . forward. And that’s pretty much the strategy I took into Louisville.
Maybe all of this is teaching me how to have faith.