Well, you may be thinking: ‘how can Eddy answer to that? Has he raced an IM before? That’s not fair, mate. Shhhh’.
And, you are absolutely right. I haven’t raced a full Ironman yet (Busso is coming soon… yeaaaah). I’m not the best/indicated person to talk to you about experiencing an adventure like that or to give you tips on how to get ready for your big day. However, I do have some stuff to say 😉
The idea of this post, humbly speaking, is to talk about other things involved during an IM journey, based on my observations. In the past few years, I had the opportunity and great pleasure to go training with several TA athletes [great friends] through their Ironman preparations, including preparations to Kona. During that time, I have also been exposed to lots of discussions with those mates. We chatted a lot. We shared lots of experiences. We spent lots of time together. We talked about GPS, bikes, gears, runners, frustrations, goals, achievements, dreams, family, life and so on. Training for an IM gives you plenty of opportunities to talk about basically… anything! 😉
Throughout the months of training with these amazing people, I have learned to absolutely admire and respect each of them, individually, in a very special way. Anyone that is brave enough to face a challenge like that should be admired straight away, hey? In my opinion, yes. Absolutely. All champions just for putting themselves in such a position. How many people in this planet can press that registration button and think about something like racing an IM? I don’t have statistics on that but I have a feeling that not many. You, Ironman people, are elite! But, hold on. Not only that.
Each of these athletes have different stories of life, challenges, fears, skills, goals and dreams, which makes the whole event even more special. It’s common to hear stories from people racing an IM after fighting cancer, or with special disabilities and so on. Everyone has a different fitness level, a different background in sports, a different cultural background… all very unique but sharing a same [very challenging] dream. Personally, I think everything about the IM is magical.
After chatting to all of our TA inspiring IM people, I have to say I completely agree with our newest ‘Kona Man’ Gary: IM is about opportunity. Taking the opportunity while it is in front of you and seizing the moment, because you never know when you may get the chance again.
The opportunities I mean or the choices you make to be an Ironman can include:
- Giving up your weekends;
- Spending less time with your family/loved ones;
- Going to bed before your children;
- Waking up before your children are awake;
- Spending more time on your bike than in your car;
- Pushing your limits and yourself above and beyond what you thought was possible;
- Walking to work with goggle marks after long swimming sessions;
- Living with injuries and pain;
- Realizing food comes in many different forms;
- Spending most of your money on new triathlon accessories;
- So on…
The list is endless… so, when you do have the opportunity to tick so many challenges/obstacles in order to get ready for your big day (without compromising too much of your personal life. Without damaging those who you love and loves you), you should go for it! You should go for your dream with everything you have!
Here, at TA, it’s common to know someone that is getting ready for another IM. Whenever you have a chance, speak to these inspiring people. Listen to their awesome stories. It’s delightful! It’s inspiring. You’ll certainly learn lots about life from these people. Their reflections during their journeys is just priceless. And, believe me, they are the most humble people you’ll meet, always keen to share their stories/knowledge with you.
I personally recently realized that, more important than anything, racing an IM give these athletes a truly changed life: ‘if I can do an IM, I can do anything’. The impact in their personal lives is huge. They become much more confident as human beings!
Ironman, again, from my humble perspective, is a mental experience they’ll never forget or take for granted. An IM will break you down to the lowest of lows and then reward you with the highest of the highs. Many ‘new doors’ and possibilities will be opened/available for you after such an intense experience.
Congratulations to all of our IM athletes. With or without a ticket to Kona, you’re truly champions. All of you. No exception. References of inspiring human beings to me and to many others.
Thanks for sharing your experiences with us and for keeping alive the IM flame in our minds/hearts.
I’m having my opportunity this year. My journey to IM Busso has started and I can’t wait to spend lots of time training with lots of amazing mates.
I’ll see you in the next sessions.