Since I have taken on this journey of signing up for an Ironman I have been asked a ton of questions but none as simple as "Why?" Each time I think about answering with a quote from George Mallory with "Because it is there." But I refrain. I typically respond with an equally simple question....."why not?"
Seriously, why not??
The list of responses I get in return is long...it's crazy, I'm too old, I'm out of shape, I don't have the time, what is the fun of killing yourself, I don't know how to swim, it costs to much, i'm not inspired to do such a thing....on and on and on.
Too old????? What about Lew Hollander who did his 20th consecutive Ironman World Championship when he was 80, you are never too old!
Need inspiration?? Check out Team Hoyt’s story, which inspired me when I first decided to run my first marathon 2.5 years ago. Team Hoyt is a true story about a father who races with his physically and mentally disabled son who cannot walk or talk. Together, they have raced in over 1000 races, more than 65 marathons, and competed in six Ironman Triathlon, including the world championship in Hawaii. Their YouTube video can be found here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=64A_AJjj8M4&feature=related
Lessons learned as a child...I remember hearing that with hard work, discipline, willpower, courage, and being optimistic, you can achieve almost anything!
My simple story began with the question...What next? I joined the running community and began road running 2.5 years ago at the age of 43. That was 3 marathons and about 8 ~ 1/2 marathons ago. I run, visit beautiful communites, constantly am inspired by people around me. I still struggle with the idea that people call me a runner. I am not. I am a guy that runs. There is a difference in my mind. But what next????? If one was to look in my garage they would see a litany of what nexts in my life. Climbing Ropes and harnesses, Paddle & Snowboards, Mountain Bikes, Golf Clubs, Softball Bats, Volley Ball Nets, Rugby Balls, Kayaks, Backpacks & Tents...get the picture. But Why??
I guess for the same reason why I don't have a TV hooked up. We all were given an incredible opportunity. I choose not to sit in front of that box. I choose to live this life that I have been given.
So what's next???? I was thinking an ultra marathon. Heck what's a 50 to 100 mile run?? I've done 5 to 7 day races so what's 100 miles?? I was also thinking after my recent trip to Aspen for Ruggerfest. What a beautiful drive and what a scenic view Independance Pass has. How cool would it be to bike passes this summer? Ultra marathons? Ride Passes?? What's next? Well, my recent knee woes helped to answer that question. Should I continue to pound and pound doing the same activity on my knee or run 26.2 miles. That of which I have done before but I can add that bike element and hell, throw in the swimming. And there you have it, an Ironman. Yeah I'll do some sprints, Olympic Distances and perhaps a half but all as training runs for the Full 140.6 miles in Cozumel in December.
This journey has already offered me a ton of laughs, smiles and comradery. I hope to share many of them with you in this Ironman Chapter of my life.
You ask why??? Look at my cool new tri bike shoes....how could I not??
What we get from this adventure is just sheer joy. And joy is, after all, the end of life. We do not live to eat and make money. We eat and make money to be able to enjoy life. That is what life means and what life is for.”
― George Mallory
― George Mallory