The word “why” is such an interesting 3-letter word. It can be so simplistic, but so complex at the same time.
I remember being in high school and dreading exams where it would ask a question about a book or something like that, and then a follow-up would be “why or why not?”. It evoked fear in me that although I answered the question correctly, I would screw it up and just have “uhhhhh….because?” as my additional answer.
Lots of people have given me a sideways glance and asked “Why another Ironman?”
Just kidding. Sort of.
Although I have to admit it’s not an easy question to answer. I feel like I could give you 100 different reasons, but also I could stare at you blankly and have no idea what to say. It’s hard to explain.
Why would I want to put myself through almost 30 weeks of training again, just to endure a 11 or 12 (or 13…) hour race day? And pay for it too?
Why is that fun? Why wouldn’t I just stick to shorter races and call it a day?
Great question, to which I don’t really have one solid answer. My “why” is 3 main parts:
- Challenging myself
- Showing my daughters that anything is possible
- Getting to the finish line and looking back on all I did to get there
Ironman is certainly no joke when it comes to training and how to manage it all. Working full time with 2 young kids in the mix adds a whole other level of chaos and fitting it all in. I’m by no means the only one to ever to this, nor am I an expert on it by any stretch. I know what works for me and it may be crazy and may not work for others, but it’s how I roll.
It is easy? Never. Is it too much to handle some days? Absolutely. Do I question the “why” when I’m in the midst of a 3 hour trainer ride at 5am because it’s the only time I can fit it in? Definitely.
But I then shift my thinking to my #2 WHY and realize I have 2 sets of little eyes watching what I do and I don’t ever want to let them down. Knowing my girls see what I am doing every day makes me that much more motivated to get through those tough workout Matt gives me.
I will bend over backwards to make sure I can fulfill the requirements of my job (which now entails a lot more day-trips to our headquarters which throws another item onto my growing list of commitments), complete the training in front of me and not miss out on any of the girls’ activities or school commitments. I try my hardest to have a presence at both of their schools and keep up on related functions, fundraisers, days off, etc.
Sure, I have to sacrifice some of my own self – including some of my sanity at times – but it’s worth it to me. I want to set an example for the girls that what matters most to you can be fulfilled. I fill my time with things that truly matter to me, that are my priorities and my reasons for getting up every morning. Some folks look at me like I’m absolutely nuts. And I get that, but for me, it’s what works. Do some things and/or people get pushed down the list a bit? Yes, they do. And I do feel horribly guilty for that, but not nearly as much as I have in the past. I have a constant inner monologue to remain true to myself and those priorities set in front of me right now. I’m working on my boundaries, learning how to push back a bit and continuing to build my own confidence. It’s kind of refreshing!
Once I cross the finish line at Mont Tremblant (notice I say WHEN, not IF…gotta have confidence nothing goes wrong on race day!), my 3rd WHY will come into focus and I can reflect on the past 7 or 8 months and hopefully smile. After I digest it all, I’m sure my priorities will shift into another direction again and my WHYs may change.
But the WHY will always remain the same for me, no matter what my goals are, no matter what adversity I’m faced with and no matter what age I am:
To challenge my inner self to be the best I can be.
Thanks for reading – have a great week!