Thursday, 16 August 2012

An open letter of thanks

This has been an amazing year, a crazy one, and an eye opening one.  Over one year ago I signed up for Ironman Mont Tremblant, and now that event is only a few days away.  The whole event still seems surreal to me, like it's still an imaginary thought that won't materialize.  Like it's still the dream that I've had for nearly 10 years.  For so long, after seeing Scott unconscious at the side of the road in Kona back in 2003, I have always asked myself "What would I have done?"  On Sunday, I have an opportunity to answer that question...or something similar, at least.

Don't get me wrong - I have absolutely no intention of being unconscious at the side of the road.  But I will be putting myself through the toughest mental and physical activity I have ever done.  I don't like confrontation.  I don't like being out of my routine.  I don't like pain.  I also don't like quitting.  This event will push me to my limit, or at least what I think my limits are, and I will find out what I will do when that happens.  I know I will finish - it's when I will finish that makes me uncomfortable.  I have my goals, my top three being:
  1. Finish within the limit of 17hrs
  2. Finish under 15 hrs
  3. Finish under 14 hrs.
There's others there too - have fun; be proud; smile for the camera; don't puke.  If I keep my head about me, not go hell-bent-for-leather on the bike, and watch my nutrition, all will be good.

I've trained for this since January, with the serious training starting in March.  I've done more training than I ever have before, hitting new highs for me in terms of volume, distance, speed.  I'm in the best shape of my life, and I've learned that I can adapt to one hell of a lot - countless 4.30am wake-ups, 9pm runs, efforts in the heat, efforts in the rain.  All that while being a husband, father, professional, friend.  

That's probably what I'm proud of most - I did all this without dropping what's important:  my life and the lives of those around me.  I didn't want my wife to become an Iron Widow, or my daughter to not see me for days on end.  There have been many beautiful moments for me that I haven't missed.  And there have been many new ones that I truly treasure - my wife and daughter biking while I get my run workouts in, good friends sacrificing themselves at ungodly hours to keep me company on the long rides and runs, my daughter wanting to test herself in a triathlon training summer camp.

I used to believe that triathlon was an individual sport, that it was solely up to the athlete to succeed.  Now I firmly believe that I was completely wrong.  It's a team sport, with your team made up of those around you that love you and support you.

There is absolutely no way I could have done this without my wife - my unofficial kick-in-the-ass coach of 19yrs - my daughter (who can be tougher than Troy Jacobson when I'm on the bike), my friends (at the risk of missing someone, I'll make a list anyways - Scott, Ben, Warren, Hans, Peter, Greg), my family and my coworkers.  It is absolutely incredible what this team has done for me, whether or not they realize it.  Even the people I don't know - those that read this blog, the other riders/swimmers/runners I meet during the training events - are all part of my success.  You have all kept me focused, honest, and humble.

I can't thank all of you enough.  And I will do my best to make you realize that the efforts and sacrifices you encountered were worth it.

Wish me luck!  If you're watching online, I'm #789.


Matty O said...

Love this. I remember the feelings. You just have to execute your plan... and NOT let your plan execute you.

Slow and steady and have fun. It's just a long day at the office :)

Closet Artist said...

Just remember-
Why was 6 afraid of 7?
'cause 7 "8" 9!!!!
That race number is perfect!!!
I plan on not wearing any mascara on Sunday since I already know I will have tears in my eyes (of joy and pride) all day long!!!

Love to you and I can't wait for the big sweaty hug at the end!!!!!!