We live in a world which rewards success to varying degrees. Aim high, dream big, and achieve it all. It is great to have goals in life; figure out what makes you happy, what makes you tick; create a plan to best achieve what will fulfill you. I’ll support this ideal to no end. If something intrigues you, no matter how daunting it may be; if your heart is in it, go for it. There are few things in life that feel better than accomplishing something we weren’t sure we could after days, months, years of perseverance. I’ve always believed; the longer the journey, the greater obstacles overcome, the sweeter the taste of triumph.
This was my fifteenth Ironman. I’ve never been one to get obsessed with numbers. I never track my total hours/miles/yards per week/year, and I couldn’t even give you an estimate of the number of calories I eat in a day. I have no idea how many triathlons I’ve done in my life or my maximum miles run in a week. But I have acknowledged this because…well, that is a lot of Ironman races. They’ve all been memorable in their own ways, and I’m quite proud of the fact that they’ve all been under 10 hours (another random fact I realized). I guess that means I’ve never really blown up or given up. While I aim to remain as relaxed as possible going into events, I have also found over the years there are times that we need to really know why we’re doing this. We need to stay engaged; not just go through the motions. If we are really investing our heart and soul into an endeavor, it helps to know your why; know what is driving you. I’ve found this can change from day to day, race to race, year to year. When I think back on Ironman Texas, I realize what is driving me after 15 years of racing is the simple concept of possibility; defined as “something that can be done or achieved; something that might or might not happen or exist.” Now please don’t confuse this with the somewhat hackneyed phrase ‘Anything is Possible’. There are decidedly many things that will never be possible. However, I firmly believe this. When we prepare our bodies and our minds; when we dedicate ourselves to a mission that is important to us, and when we are willing to take risk and put ourselves on the line to accomplish great things; therein lies magnificent possibility.
Failure is only possible when we fail to learn from our experiences. And experiences are only created when we throw ourselves into life; sometimes we fly, others we fall; but it’s what we take from the process that creates our future.