Sunday, November 6, 2011

Why I'm Doing Ironman

Last week marked the start of initial base building for Ironman. So I guess I can say that I am now officially training for Ironman Wisconsin 2012 (just 42 more weeks to go...alright!). So why am I doing Ironman?

My knee jerk response is so that I can finally answer "yes" when the lay person asks "Have you ever done an Ironman?" - because stereotypically most folks associate triathlon with that one race in the same way that most Americans think that the only cycling race is the Tour de France. Of course when people ask "have you evern done an Ironman" they are really thinking about Kona, but whatever.

Thinking about it a little harder I might say, "well, because its there." Not terribly introspective and yeah, pretty glib. And in saying that I don't want to disparage anyone's personal experience training for or racing Ironman. Ironman is a journey and everyone's journey is personal and specific to them. Its a tremendous accomplishment and everyone has their personal motivations and goals and that is a really cool thing. There's a reason for my low key response. So please do not misinterpret "because its there" as arrogance or that I'm not going to take this seriously or that my heart isn't into it. I'd like to point out that the quote "because it's there" is attributed to George Mallory in reply to the question "Why do you want to climb Mount Everest?", which has been called "the most famous three words in mountaineering." Of course Mallory died on Everest, so there's that too.

I've always said that it wasn't the race that intimidated me. It was the training that was the real mountain. But I'm not that nervous about the the training either. Its just a long, long plodding climb. So, this is my Everest. I've seen others do it. And if I pay attention to the details, to my body and to my nutrition I confident that I can do it too. My only goal is to finish - no pressure. In the end the race is going to be fun. It better be.

Chipping away to get below the superficial....I've been delaying/saving Ironman for several years.  2012 marks the start of my fourth decade. I've let life dictate my 20s and 30s and decade 4 is going to be something else for me. I'm just beginning to define what that is. One thing I do know is that I want it to start with the voice of Ironman, Mike Reilly, and the words "you are an Ironman."

No comments: