|Me and Courtney ready to take on Ironman WI 2010|
A year later, I look back at our year of training and the event itself-- they were EPIC.
** I know the word epic is overused, so I looked it up in the thesaurus for synonyms. Here's what I found: astronomic, colossal, considerable, enormous, gigantic, ginormous, humongous*, jumbo, mammoth, massive, mega, monster*, monumental, prodigious, sizeable, tremendous, vast, very big, very large, whopping. (Who knew ginormous was actually a word?) I guess those would describe it as well.
What did I REALLY get out of the training and the event? Was it just bragging rights?
Starting: I thought so. I wanted to be an "Ironman".
Looking back: No way.
It's indescribable what I gained and learned over the year. Yes, my swim/bike/run form improved, as did my discipline, my drive and my dedication. Not just to sports, but to the other areas in my life.
Training not only taught me how to manage my time, but also how to improve the uses of it. While I am sure I spent less time at work, the time I did spend was more concentrated and I got more done. The time with my kids was cherished and special.
Among the other benefits I received from training:
- Meeting amazing people along the way
- Having goals and achieving them
- Committing yourself to one purpose
- Trying new things
- Following through
- Putting myself out there
- Overcoming fear of failure
For anyone on the fence about doing an Ironman, I say DO IT!
Everyone's journey through the experience is different and yields different results. You may go into the experience thinking that it will be a certain "way", it won't. You can plan all you want, but the experience will bring you what it does. While I thought that the year and my accomplishments would center around my swim/bike/running, it didn't. It was the emotional and spiritual benefits, not my fitness, that I will always remember and take with me. Even for those who sign-up and train and never make it to the finish line, the experience for those people too, will bring them more knowledge about themselves than most other experience in a lifetime.
If an Ironman were just about bragging rights, no one would do more than one.