Inspiration

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Tuesday, September 27, 2011

The Journey (Orangeman 70.3)

I traveled non-stop for 70.3 miles only to end up exactly where I started… just a lot more tired and in a lot more pain… but I loved it. I can’t put into words exactly why I loved it so much, especially because I know I forgo all logic in knowingly putting myself through the grueling physical, mental and emotional demands just for the pleasure of finishing… But I will try and explain why I and maybe so many of my dear friends are so passionate about all things swimming, biking and running… I will try…

It starts with the possibility… the maybe… some call it a dream or the dare to hope, but it typically starts with the thought, “I wonder if I can?” to “Sign me up!” to “I can’t believe I just did that!” Completing a triathlon or any endurance event for that matter requires not only sweat, but more often than not, tears. I’m exaggerating a little here… but just a little… and yes, I’ve shed a couple of tears of my own along the way. Why? Because we don’t really expect to be moved during exercise... and that’s exactly what this is in the most simplest of terms… exercise. We go into it knowing we’ll work… that we’ll sweat, but what we discover about ourselves along the way is what draws us in to truly love the journey as much as the destination. And it’s not only in the training sessions… it could be during the actual race…

A lot goes through your head when you are moving for as long as I was (not a good thing by the way). 70.3 miles swimming, biking and running leaves a lot of room for thoughts and emotions to run wild…. It was something like this;

1.2 mile swim:
Nervous… Anxious… Nauseous… Anxious… Calm… Angry… Exhilarated… Relaxed… Relieved…

58 mile bike:
Hopeful… Nervous… Impatient… Relieved… Happy… Anxious… Fearful… Drained… Joyful… Frustrated… Embarrassed… Relieved… Anxious…

13.1 mile run:
Dread… Dread… Dread… Hopeful?... Dread… Dread… Embarrassed… Pure Elation… Thankful… Overjoyed… Proud!

It was exactly in that order. It was painful and difficult and I didn’t do as well as I had hoped… the first few hours was easier than the last 2, but I’m okay with it. Why? Because only a few months ago I was the one thinking; “I wonder if I can?” Today I know the answer to that… “wondering” if I can has been replaced with “knowing” I can regardless of how I did.

Honestly, it doesn’t matter what you do… a 5K or a marathon… a sprint distance triathlon to a half or full Ironman, none of that matters… it’s the journey in faith in finding the person God made you to be and proving it… and proving it to yourself is where the real reward is…

Oh, and maybe there’s some reward in having your own personal cheering section…

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