What I Learned From Iron Man
Reposted from an article by Adam Lofquist
Ironman some say it is the toughest thing you could ever do, to me it is one of the greatest things you will ever do. I love endurance athletics because you get to push your mind, body and spirit to new limits and all of the lessons that you learn while you do them. Here are some of the lessons that I learned about life and success from completing an Ironman.
Focus on where you want to go. I signed up for Ironman being a very poor swimmer and now; I am just a poor swimmer. I can always get better and that is the point, I can get better. I knew my weakness and what it would take but I focused on where I wanted to go Stop waiting for the right time because there will never be a right time. There will always be something wrong. Stop waiting for when you are ready because there will always be an excuse. Forget what you do not know or what you cannot do, you will get there, just commit to getting there.
One small step. Is how you complete an Ironman, change the world or change your life. One step after the other. An Ironman is really not that complicated. You just need to keep going. One stroke after the other, one pedal stroke and one foot in front of the other, if you just keep moving you will get to your destination, never give up. It is a balance of figuring out how far you have to go and focusing on that next step. Just keep moving in the right direction.
Everyone travels at a different pace, but all that matters is getting to the finish. It does not matter your pace as long as you keep moving forward and meet the deadline. We get too caught up in trying to keep up with everyone else that it ends up hurting us. As I said before I am a poor swimmer. If I were to try and keep up with the great swimmers I would be dead on the bike and the run and I may not cross the finish line. This happens in real life. We see the success of our friends and we get happy for them but we get mad at ourselves. We tell ourselves that we should be there and we should be that successful. If we would have just worked harder and done more, we would be there. We look at all of our failures and tell ourselves we are not good enough. We stop, give up and are out of the game. Remember that your pace is your pace and you will get there. Whether that be crossing the finish line or reaching another goal that you have, you have what it takes. Some parts will take you longer and others will take you shorter, just focus on getting there.
Ask for help. Surround yourself that have the same passion as you but have different insights. My friend Kare Anderson is an expert in this area. How can your differences help the people around you and how can their differences help you? From reading this post you know that I suck at swimming. I take every opportunity that I can to learn how to be a better swimmer. I also take every opportunity I can to help push people past their limits to live more. I will help people in any way that I can, not for the recognition but to see that person grow. It is amazing to see that your investment in a person can truly become a lifetime of change. Even it is not a lifetime, just for a moment it is worth it.
Embrace what sucks. Stop doing what is easy and what does not hurt. It is okay to become broken, worn and be filled with pain, because that is where all the growth happens. We think that when we fall or when it gets hard we are weak and that is a lie. The truth is that we are truly the weakest when it becomes easy. There is no challenge so there is no growth. Whether we want to believe it or not, we are tough enough to do anything that we want. Stop looking for the easiest way out because it is the easiest way for a reason, there is little value in taking the easy way if any value at all.
Thank the people that help you get there. Ironman is amazing for a number of reasons but one of the biggest ones for me are the volunteers and the spectators. Here are people that get up early, stay up late, stand around for hours, travel, take time out of their day, cheer for you and help you and they do it all for you and ask nothing in return. I know that you have those people in your life. Remember to thank them for being right there with you before, during and after your journey. Far too often we focus on proving everyone wrong that told us we could not do it, we waste time that we could be focusing on those that knew we could all along.
Forget about the medal. I get joy in the experience and the relationships that I get to build during not only these events but during the training. I have made some of my best friends over endurance events and you can talk these people about anything. Medals get lost and they get dusty, these friendships, memories and lessons will never fade. Not only do you get to see how great you are, you get to see how great others are and how far they can go. The takeaway for this in real life is to stop focusing on the extrinsic values and start to focus intrinsic values. Do not be successful just to be successful, define why you want to successful and what will motivate you to get there.
Your end result is all about what you put into it. We hear a lot about overnight success stories. The success is not due to luck but because the person that had the success stayed up all night and working their ass off. This is not only true for endurance events but in life as well. If you are not getting where you want to go; give some more, try harder and try it a different way. You cannot expect excellent results when you only give mediocre effort.
Remember why you started. When it gets tough and when it starts to hurt, remember why you started. When it gets easy, you start to enjoy it and you begin to smile, remember why you started. When you feel like giving up, remember why you started. Ironman is a journey and life is a journey. Making a choice to live bolder is a journey. There will be times when you want to give up but don’t, always remember why you started; it will fuel you to accomplish anything that you want. Always remember why you started.
Show your appreciation. Ironman is amazing for a number of reasons but one of the biggest ones for me are the volunteers and the spectators. Here are people that get up early, stay up late, stay around for hours all for you and ask nothing in return. I know that you have those people in your life. Remember to thank them for being right there with you before, during and after your journey.
Your end result is all about what you put into it. We hear a lot about overnight success stories and my guess is that it is not due to luck but because the person that had the success stayed up all night and gave everything that they had. This is not only true for endurance events but in life as well. If you are not getting where you want to go, give some more, try harder and try it a different way. You cannot expect excellent results when you only give mediocre effort.