Monday, September 03, 2007

Lessons Learning (Second in a Series)

Photo Courtesy of The Boston Globe

The taper has had an unexpected effect: introspection. The big show is just a few days away and I'm reviewing my journal of private notes, training diary, blog posts, and emails. Here's a journal entry from Thursday, March 1, 2007:

"Although scarlet maples stood dormant beside the banks of the grey coloured waters, tightly wrapped in protective covers, the buds of her spirit held blossoms that could not to be contained. Many winter miles were covered and, although I may have been the lone runner, never was I without my spirit kindred. Spring is nigh."

You see 'BoomerNation another lesson I'm learning is that:

You're Not Alone.

Attempting Ironman makes you a rare athlete. As rare as you may be don't forget that you're not the first or the only one to prepare for 140.6 miles. It may be of little solace when the hill is steep and the sun is hot and you're the only one on the road. But when you're recovered know there are others sharing the same trials, errors, and successes.

Today I swam my last swim with my local teammates. To a person, each one took time to say a few words to me and wish me well. I believe one of the keys of having a full Ironman experience is to join, or make, a group of people with a common goal. Building a network of supporters is just as important as a training plan.

Believing that I could achieve, although in the beginning I may have been the only one, and learning that I was not alone in the journey count a lot. But belief and good company didn't protect me from tough days and moments of doubt. You see...

Nobody Said it Was Going to Be Easy.

There will be moments, maybe a lot of them, where the training will just plain suck. Swimming 2.4 miles, biking 112, and running a full marathon in secession isn't a natural thing to do. Preparing is hard. It's not particularly complicated but easy it's not. The training will hurt. It takes away the precious asset of time. It will, at times, leave you dejected and maybe rejected by a few. It's all a part of the route to the starting line. Accept it. One of the reasons you chose Ironman is not because it's easy but because it's hard.

Earlier this summer I found myself sitting in a valley of doubt and I wasn't alone. I recalled this post from April 2006 and read it to mon esprit nordique:

"The valley is where you learn. They valley is where you rest. The valley is where you experience humility. The valley is where you build energy to attack the mountain again. Mountaintops are great and exhilarating and fun to conquer. But, it’s also hard to stay on the mountaintop unless you sit down and camp out there. Then you might become stagnant and lazy and soon someone else will show up determined to kick your butt off the top. Besides, who has time to sit on their laurels? We’re in a race after all. Instead, enjoy the mountaintop – but know the valley comes next. All ups have a down. All highs have a low. Learn to enjoy, if not expect, them both."

Belief, community, and overcoming difficulty are things I'm learning, and there's more. It's when things are at their hardest an essential ingredient must be always present for achievement. That will kick off the next post.

Stay tuned...

1 comment:

Shelley said...

vous ĂȘtes mon esprit des have the "right" stuff Brian!!