When I started training for Ironman Louisville in early 2009, many people asked me why I was going to try such a seemingly impossible race. The answer… I’m just determined to finish.
Sure, I love the sport of triathlon and I love the community that surrounds the sport. My friends I train with are all one of a kind and a blast to be with. But most of all… It was my next big challenge in life. Something I never though I would do in a million years. But determination set in…
Over the course of 9 months of training I logged in over 2,000 miles on my bike, a few hundred miles of running, and some where in the ball park of 200 miles of swimming. It was a daunting task to say the least but I was determined to do it.
My challenges? Staying injury free for one, staying focused on relationships and work, but the biggest challenge? My travel schedule. From January to June I went overseas for work 7 times for at least 5 days at a time. That takes a bite out of the training schedule, but I was determined to do it.
There was even more travel domestically, but I was determined to do it.
Add in the normal challenges in personal and professional life and you find yourself in a very tight spot on free time and energy to function as a normal human being. In bed by 10pm and up early in the morning to ride, run and swim then work a full day or travel all day… but I was determined to do it.
The weekends… even earlier and longer days training, sometimes up to 8 hours of training in one day… but I was determined to do it.
Then it hit me.(I kept seeing this word determined pop up in my thoughts and conversations with people.) I had never once considered this to be something that driven people do. In fact, I would dare say that most driven people would not be able to finish such a challenge.
Driven people seem to plow right on ahead no matter the cost to themselves or those around them. One definition I found says this about the word Driven ~ having a compulsive or urgent quality.
Let me tell you… there’s no room for urgency in training for a triathlon. If you rush it, you’ll get hurt.
Life is much the same way.
Most fiercely driven people I know urgently race through their careers and sometimes their relationships leaving damage in their wake while burning out before they finish meeting their goals. If you rush through life and aren’t aware of what’s happening around you then most likely you will fly right by the sweetest parts in life or hurt someone in the process.
The determined ones finish what they start but they might be nursing an injury along the way, a set back in their plans, or they have to start all over just to get a fresh-start.
In the end I learned this about myself, determination comes with some sweat. Not just physically, but mentally as well. It comes with knowing the cost of the road ahead and knowing when to change course in order finish well.
This might be you. You might be struggling to get to your finish line or to reach your goal, but just because it’s challenging doesn’t mean you won’t get there. It just means you have to keep going even if you fall on your face a few times getting there.
Don’t worry, it’s ok. Your friends will still love you and support you.
I have the greatest friends and family and I have an amazing coach. I have surrounded myself with several close friends who will pick me up when I fall and push me back out there when I need encouragement or a kick in the pants.
I can’t stress enough how hard this training was and what a hard day Ironman Louisville really was, but I was determined to do it.
I had to change my strategy all through out the day…
But I did it.
It wasn’t pretty.
But I did it.
The support from family and friends to get through it was amazing and at times was the only thing that got me through.
But I did it… and you can too.
All it takes… is a little Determination.