Well, here it is, 2 weeks until Ironman Canada in Penticton. Am I ready? I would have said definitively yes a week ago. I had my strongest long ride up to near Whistler and back to North Vancouver, which is over 107 miles and it mimics the Ironman course very closely, I’m told. I had one of my best runs that week as well. Then flip it around to this week and I’m not feeling so hot. I had one of my worst long runs and rides. On Tuesday, I couldn’t push my run faster than 10-minute miles. Yesterday, I couldn’t keep up to my training partner, Sukhi Muker, and had one of the most grueling workouts on a relative flat ride and only logged 88 miles in 5 hours and 15 minutes. What does all this mean? It means that stuff is going to show up in life. It’s how we react that shows our character.
As I was riding yesterday I thought, “What exemplifies my character?” And it’s the fact that I am persistent and never give up. From my work life, social life, spiritual life, love life, to my training, racing and journey in general. I never give up and I never will. How does this relate to you? I think we all have the potential to do great things and it’s my hope that in reading this you take this bit of prose to heart. Never give up. That’s all. Keep smiling, running, playing, learning, growing, evolving and caring. I have a saying that I read every day when I get up, and it goes like this, “A quitter never wins, and a winner never quits”. And yesterday when I felt like quitting, my body ailing me with back and knee pain so loud I could hear the sirens, I kept pedaling. I never gave up and finished the training session. My chatter was so loud that it nearly matched the screams of pain. It was saying, “Why are you doing this?” “It’s not fun.” “It’s torture.” “It shouldn’t hurt this much to be good for you”. And I could go on and on.
When life gets so hard that you may not want to endure any more of the pain or jadedness that you may encounter, remember, that there is always something to be grateful for and the situation is allowing you to grow. I love the fact that life never hands you more than what you can handle. That keeps me going when times are tough. And it will keep me going in 2 weeks time when I know I will be putting my body through the toughest challenge to date. Ironman Canada is the biggest event in my life. And doing it will allow me to grow and take on further challenges.
I’ve learned so much about myself in this process. I’ve tidied up my nutrition. I’ve been persistent, consistent and pushed my comfort zone daily since January 1, 2011. And I’ve learnt that the body responds best to challenging it. That goes for both physical and mental. I went from a guy that couldn’t swim 25 meters to one that now leads the slow lane at the Master’s Swim at West Van Rec. I’m down to my lowest weight since being 17 of 225 lb. At 40 years old, I’m in the best shape of my life. I couldn’t imagine my life any different than what it is now at this point in time. Yes, we all have fantasies about “What if”, but I’m so grateful for the process that has lead me to this point in time. There is no fast track. I dedicated a year and it will all culminate on August 28, 2011.
So it’s my hope in reading this you take on a challenge of your own. It doesn’t have to be Ironman. It can be going for regular hikes, walks in the park, taking the stairs when you have the option. Just promise me you will challenge yourself. You will learn a great deal about yourself in the process. I will talk to you after the race.