Why do you think a 140.6 mile race sounds like “fun”? Why are you torturing your body? Why would anyone want to sit on a bicycle seat for hours and hours? Why are doing this?! I can’t count the number of times I have been asked in the past year, “Why would anyone want to do this?” when referencing the amount of time, energy, and emotion I have put into training for my upcoming Ironman race. My race is NEXT Saturday and in exactly one week I will be traveling to Maryland. I can’t believe the time is finally here. Throughout the peak of my training, and now that I am tapering, I have had a lot of time to reflect on the journey that brought me to this point, starting with my initial idea of doing something I thought was crazy and seemingly impossible, complete an Ironman.
I recently asked some of my friends who are training for races/make a healthy lifestyle a priority to tell me their “why,” here are some of the responses:
-To overcome obstacles, both physical and mental. -SF
-Reaching my goals keeps me pushing forward, Without that driving force, I would just be driving to Chick-Fil-A. – KM
-I was given the blessing of a healthy body so there is no reason not to be active. – AK
– My girlfriend told me she wanted to do an Ironman and my ego is too big to not do it with her. – JJ
-I want to do something that challenges me on different levels. Something that takes me out of my comfort zone. – DM
– My muffin top. – LF
-I have this friend named Sara who makes me do it. – AK
-First and foremost has been my health, physical, mental and emotional. I have always been a loner and competitive and this allows me to feed both. – JW
My “why” was born out of the worst six months of my life. I spent weeks in a hospital watching my body shut down. For the majority of 2017, I didn’t think that I would ever be able to run again and that my body had turned against me. In addition to the physical issues I struggled with that year, the mental aspect was also really hard. Did you know there is such a thing as illness-induced PTSD? I had never heard of that, until I was diagnosed with it (side note – I’ve been told that around 20% of patients with a life-threatening illness develop PTSD afterwards). Learning to trust my body again is something that I still struggle with.
*Simply because I can
*To celebrate how far I’ve come in 2 years
*Hearing my GI doctor tell me I am one of his “favorite success stories” and that he would have never believed the progress I made with my health in such a short time
*To prove to myself that my body isn’t broken anymore
Since the beginning of 2018, my goal has been to hear “You are an Ironman” and that day is (hopefully) coming very soon. I still have worries about being too slow and DNF’ing, but focusing on those negative thoughts isn’t going to help me find the finish line! 10 days and 140.6 miles stand between me and the title of Ironman!