The Ironman Triathlon: Is this your year? After the holiday break a new round of WTC Ironman Triathlons is in the works and it seems to be an appropriate time to ask this question.
There are many Ironman Triathlon races around the world to choose from.
Which one did you pick for your very first?
New Zealand, South Africa, the U.K., the inaugural Lake Tahoe Ironman or Ironman Whistler perhaps? Maybe you are going to Coeur d’Alene, or Lake Placid, or Florida. Could it be that you have chosen Arizona, Cozumel, Australia, Wisconsin, or Louisville.
Then of course there is Sweden, Switzerland, Mont-Tremblant, Frankfurt, Austria, Texas, Mexico and Brasil.
Regardless of which venue you have chosen for your first attempt at Ironman immortality there are three major components to your Ironman journey.
(1)MAKING A COMMITMENT TO THE IRONMAN
This is perhaps the most difficult part of your Ironman journey. That very first step has to be taken if you ever hope to take that last one across the finish line.
Many people have to overcome the naysayers who are only too eager to tell them…How could you ever hope to be an Ironman? You don’t have what it takes.
Others might have nothing but positive support but have to overcome their own self-doubts and fear of failing and that perhaps is the biggest hurdle of all.
Yet once you enter your race you have taken a huge step. It is a commitment that will mean taking time away from your family and social life. For many even the most basic costs of an entry fee can be financially challenging.
Yet, despite everything here you are on a journey that could very well have a positive impact on the rest of your life.
(2)MAKING IT TO THE START LINE
Once you find yourself standing at the swim start of your very first Ironman you have accomplished something that very few people have the courage and tenacity to do.
Although it may seem like a lot of people do Ironman triathlons, in the big scheme of things it is a minuscule percentage of the the world population that will ever make it to an Ironman Triathlon swim start.
Chances are you are not a super athlete and had to learn so much in order to make it this far. There was probably a time when you never thought it possible that you would be capable of swimming 2.4-miles in the open water let alone biking 112-miles and following that up with a 26.2-mile marathon.
This is your day. This is your moment in the sun. Despite the aches and pains, those moments when you doubted your sanity, and all those times you wondered what the Hell have I gotten myself into……here you are.
Despite everything you have made it. There really is no such thing as failure when you have made it this far regardless of how your day goes.
That singular moment just before the starting gun sounds when your heart is racing and the anticipation is at a fever pitch and you are running the full gamete of emotions is something that will be seared into your memory forever and the race hasn’t even started.
(1)CROSSING THE IRONMAN TRIATHLON FINISH LINE
When you find yourself in the midst of the chaos. When you are immersed in the sound and the fury of the race itself there are factors unique to the Ironman that will play a big part in whether or not you reach the Ironman finish line.
It really doesn’t matter how many Olympic Distance Triathlons or Ironman 70.3 races you have been part of and perhaps failed miserably`to meet your per-conceived standards.
It doesn’t matter if your first Ironman is your first triathlon of any distance.
The Ironman is special in many ways and there is no comparison that can be made to any other endurance event in the world.
When you are out there pushing yourself to the limit of your capabilities….and beyond, there is an aura that is rooted deep in the tropical heat of Hawaii from the very first Ironman pioneers who blazed the trail that you travel.
The spirit resonates from the amazing people just like you who have made this same journey over the decades.
They will be surrounding you. They will be the driving force that carries you when you have nothing left to give.
Believe it and embrace it…and you will most certainly cross the Ironman Triathlon finish line.