Friday, November 13, 2009

When Ironman asks

When Ironman asks why I am in Arizona I have to have an answer.

Ironman is the gatekeeper to lifetime bragging rights and you don’t get them if he’s not satisfied with your answer.

So, why am I in Arizona?

The easiest answer is because it is the next step in the ladder of fitness that Alex and I started climbing a few years ago. We started with try-a-tri’s, graduated to sprints, olympics and then last year to the half Iron distance. With the next double in distance available we had to step up to the challenge.

This is the right answer for Iron training, training Ironman was pretty satisfied with it – you go the distance, you double the distance, you progress along the way. The common saying is that if you can do the training you can do the race but although this answered the questions during training real Ironman, race Ironman won’t be satisfied with any wussy little next step of the ladder crap. He’s out for more blood.

Ok, so, next answer.

How about this? Fitness is the route to health and health is the first pre-requisite of happiness. I’ve borrowed that from Joseph Pilates but I hope he’ll lend it out. He hit the nail on the heat I think. The human body was made to move, not to sit endlessly typing, watching, clicking away the hours. We’re smart so we’ve gotten ourselves a pretty cushy deal with our sedentary jobs but we’ve let that drift into the rest of our waking hours. We’re not so smart now are we?

This works a little better. I’ve been at this enough to know how good this all makes me feel and I have no desire at all to stop. I want to be the old broad passing the youngsters at races, being the role model of a life lived well. I want to be the ordinary woman out on the streets showing other ordinary women that this is what we can do, that although modern professional sports may seem often to be the preserve of men only, there is a whole other side to athletics that can and should welcome everyone in to its lifestyle. That will, I know, keep me going when things get tough. Somewhere in the crowd will be someone who needs to see me going the distance to realize that what ever distance she can imagine is doable. I am woman, see me roar, and all that.

This will come a time however, when I won’t give a damn about who is out there watching. I will be tired, depressed, sore, hungry, and my clothes will itch. The finishing line will be a long way away and there will be no friendly faces. It will be dark for body and soul.

What will my answer be then?

I don’t know.


  1. Keep it fun...make a game of it. Sing along the way. Celebrate that your mind and body are whole. See you there.

  2. It can't be anything but fun at the back of the pack. Thanks so much for the reminder that it's all just for fun.

  3. I'll be there...and we can sing and celebrate together! :-)

  4. So, how'd it go for you? I hope it was a fun and challenging event for you. Looking forward to reading your next post.