You don't become an Ironman overnight; the journey is long, the journey is hard. Not many set out with the initial goal of becoming one. Most set out to make a change, any change. Everyone's reasons are different. Everyone's journey is unique.
But inasmuch as we're different, we're all so similar.
Our journey usually begins innocently, very innocently. For me it began with the lacing of the shoes. For others it could have been with a lap in the pool or a ride around the block.
We never thought of entering a race, but we allowed a well intended friend to convince us that this is the best thing we could do. I know I did. I registered for one even though I didn't know what to do.
The task of running an organized race was beyond anything I could wrap my arms around. The pure thought of getting from start to finish, and having someone officially "time" my performance was not something I would have ever done, but there I was.
It's all about baby steps. One step in front of the other. One block at a time. One mile at a time. We grow steadily and methodically. We set our goals, we plan our day, our week, our month. Race day is just around the corner. It could be six months out but in our mind, if feels like the race is tomorrow.
It was posted yesterday in facebook that "someone's 5k is their Ironman". This could not have been said any better, any clearer. When I finished my first first race, I felt like an Ironman! (relax, I know I wasn't, I didn't even know back then what an Ironman was).
We progress from one distance to the next. Our confidence grows in direct proportion as our mileage increases. Before we know it we're considering a 10K, a 10M or even a Half Marathon. A Half Marathon? Yes a Half Marathon. And then a Marathon.. I could never do that.
We find heroes amongst us. Those that do distances that we would like one day, to be able to do. They give us a helping hand, a word of advise, but mostly encouragement. They understand that they were in our shoes once in a past not to far removed. They know that a pat on the back or a kick in the butt are needed; they know when they are needed.
And just like that we become that person. Someone is looking at us, looking to us. They don't quit, they don't give up because they've watched us grow, they've traveled our journey and now they too believe that it can be done. They believe that they can do this as well.
I believe that an Ironman does not ever disparage the accomplishments of others. Ever! Not even in jest. Ever! Remember that "someone's 5k is their Ironman". We applaud the efforts of each and everyone who is giving it a go, no matter the size.
Yes, what we do in impressive. We have the right to brag, we've earned that right. But we must do it with humility and we must never disparage. Ever.
When you reach this point, then you too my friend will know that you ARE ... an Ironman!
"All I ever wanted was to reach out and touch another human being,
not just with my hands but with my heart." ~ Tahere Mafi
Disclaimer: I tried to find the source of the inspiration for this post to give proper credit, but I could not. If you happen to be the person that commented on a post and said "someone's 5k is their Ironman", please let me know, so I can do so.
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