When I tell people that I just ran my first Half IronMan triathlon (a 70.3 mile swim-bike-run) the response is varied. Other triathletes are instantly excited and we share a connection which sparks a conversation that could last for hours if we’re not careful. Those who have never run a race of that magnitude often give me a puzzled look and ask “why would you ever want to do something like that?”
Well… let me tell you; First of all, I feel a deep sense that something profoundly good is happening when I move my body. Mind, body, and soul are connected and I feel that when I use my body, especially when I use it a lot (like 5 hours and 11 minutes in a row for example).
Triathlons are particularly appealing to me because it’s such a good full body workout. Swimming developsupper body strength primarily while cycling and running are great lower body workouts with less impact than running ultra long distances. Spread the stress around as I always say.
Secondly, I ran a half IronMan because it was hard. I want to be a person who intentionally faces hard things head on. I want to get used to doing hard things instead of shying away from them. Starting a business from scratch is hard, being a good dad is hard, denying my own selfishness is hard, life is hard! I want to work hard and play hard because this is where the good life is lived, this is where we find out all that we can be. You won’t find the same level of joy, success, or have the same sense of accomplishment in your life if you don’t tackle the hard things.
So pick something you know you should do that’s hard, and do it. You’ll be better off for it and so will those around you. If you can’t think of anything, maybe try a triathlon. I have yet to meet an ironman triathlete who regrets owning that title.