I’ve never been one to easily impress. I can probably blame my parents for that one. I was the kid (as were my siblings) that so desperately wanted a few bucks for getting an “A” on my report card….but what I got – “You’re a smart kid, you should get A’s!”. One might argue that this statement along with others like, “No one can ask anymore of you if you did your best” which would come as reassurance after a personal lackluster effort….led me to become a relatively driven individual with pretty high standards….thanks Mom & Dad.
Over the past few years, I’ve been fortunate to be around some people doing some pretty amazing things (have witnessed my wife give birth, have watched siblings complete ironmans, completed a few Boston Marathons, watched a friend compete in the Olympics, have seen countless clients overcome adversity in their lives to make major health and performance gains, among many others), but only once in a while (actually once in a long while judging by the date of my last post) has something struck me enough to blog about it. But this weekend at the Timberman Ironman 70.3….alongside some of other “Pro-Activity family” members…I again had the opportunity to witness the extraordinary time and time again!
There was of course our crowd of first timer triathletes Jess & Lindsay…people like Diane returning to the “tri ring” after a few years….some first time half iron competitors Amy, Brian, Justin, Gina, Roy, and myself…and of course our seasoned ironmen Mike, Nisim, and Chris doing it again……there was our amazing support crew and “loud mouths” that included my wife, daughter, brother, nieces and nephew, and a handful of other awesome friends willing to give up a few final days of their summer to cheer for hours on end (check out the photo coverage here: https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?
set=a.10151592436230920.1073741837.103261070919&type=1)…and all and all, it was an incredibly successful and achievement-filled event.
Now, of course I may be biased or just in a good mood since this turned out to be arguably my best event ever (came in at 5:08:44 and had expected to come in at 5:30 ish)…something I’m pretty proud about….but the performance that stood out most to me…the one that made me most proud, was that of my colleague Gina S.
Here’s a girl who’s relatively new to the endurance sports world (3 years) and less than 1 year from the start of her triathlon career has now completed her first 70.3 ironman event….one that took her on a swim 1.2 miles around Lake Winnepesaukee, 56 miles cycling through the hills of NH, and 13.1 miles around the surrounding neighborhoods. That in and of itself is an impressive achievement….but let me paint a little picture for you…the one that inspired me to write this blog…..
Imagine this, you’ve just swam 1.2 miles, biked 56, and ran 6.5 miles….continuously…exhausting yourself with 6 hours and 31 minutes of consistent exercise. Imagine coming into the finish line area, having dealt with back spasms all day long, seeing all of your friends cheering for you (all of whom have finished their race)….and having to go back out…by yourself… and do one more 6.5 mile loop of running. This was Gina’s reality, and a potential breaking point for any competitor. The easy thing would have been to sit down and give up….to blame it on the back or to kick back with friends in a moment of mental weakness and physical depletion.
But in this picture….in this moment…Gina did something I’m not even sure she knew she could…..after accepting the emotional drain that would be the next 6.5 miles…Gina wiped the sweat and tears from her face….dug deep into her reserves…those she probably didn’t know she had…and said “I’m doing this”…and less than an hour and a half later…she did!
It’s not often that I’m impressed….but Gina, I hope this achievement has made you as proud as I am…and we are of you.
Here’s to having the COURAGE to start…..the ENDURANCE to continue….and the RESOLVE to finish!