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Every Medal A Memory....Big decision....

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Tuesday, July 31, 2012

I have reached a crossroads where I have needed to reflect. I display my medals in my office, not to show the world how great I am or that I am something but rather they hang as a reminder of something I have discovered about myself. I am reminded of David in the Bible where he kept the sword of Goliath in his tent. I would imagine that when times got tough where he began to doubt himself or his faith, he would reach under the bed and touch the cold steel of Goliaths sword and re-live that moment where a young stripling triumphed over impossible odds.

This is my way of reaching out and touching the sword of Goliath, MY Goliath. I wanted to share them with you, not to put ability on display but I guess as a way of reminding myself publically of lessons learned. The reason why will be apparent.

Eagle River, WI - 5k.. I learned about the perils and foolishness of overtraining and still managed to finish.. had to swallow my pride... hard.

Sault Ste Marie, MI 10K.. I got lost on the course and wound up in some subdivision. I learned to not take that stuff so seriously and laugh it off... I also witnessed real courage on display that day with a woman who was not only last but was REALLY last.. by a wide margin. She never gave up, never got discouraged and because I got lost, I had the privilege of running with her for the last 1/2 mile to the finish. I still don't know her name. My loss.

This is her

Mackinaw Island, MI First Half Marathon - I learned to tough it out. The first 3 miles were pavement, the rest... hilly trail run. I had to give it all I had to finish... i didn't do my homework very well and didn't train accordingly..funny I didnt remember signing up for the Marine Corps? That was a tough first race.... 'nuff said...

Green Bay , WI Half Marathon 2011
This was supposed to be my first marathon but because of injury, I didn't train much at all. I downgraded my registration to a half and rolled the dice. I was totally surprised by how much fitness I had retained through non running activities. I learned to just try and don't just assume you cant do it.

Rochester, NY first full marathon 2011
- So many lessons it would require me to finish my blog series... The big lesson... Knowing in your heart that you not only have the courage to start but the will to finish. I started out too fast at the beginning and it cost me a painfully tight hamstring at mile 8. I had to nurse it for the next 18 miles stopping almost every 1/2 mile to mile to stretch to get some relief. i never gave up and gutted it out to the end. never regretted it....

Ashland, WI 2011 Half marathon.
I was still so sore after the marathon a month earlier that I almost didn't do it. I learned to define success by your present condition. My present condition demanded that I just let go of my pre conceived ideas and just finish even if I had to walk all of it. Who cares? just enjoy the process. I walked the first 4 miles then run/walk intervals afterward. turned in a time not too far from my standard 1/2 marathon time. who would have figured? just relax and let the expectations go... just do it.... just finish.

Green Bay, WI 2012 Half Marathon
Race was cancelled due to extreme heat. People were falling out after 2 miles. By the time race was officially cancelled, I had made it to Mile 11. Lesson learned- I am tougher than I think. In spite of the extreme heat index, I held my own and would have finished under the harshest conditions I had ever raced in. I have what it takes.

Iron Mountain, MI - Northwoods Triathlon.
I was so afraid of open water swimming and just swimming in general. I was ok with biking and running but swimming left me paralyzed. When I started trying to really swim, it was like a bird trying to fly for the first time.... lots of false starts. one lap turned into two. Then two laps turned into a quarter mile. Out of 46 male participants, I was 24th out of the water.

I can do it.

Now I can swim a mile...

I said all of that to say this. I have taken time to reflect on what I have managed to do, not because i was perfect but i was determined and would not take no for an answer. Because I demanded more of myself and believed that I could deliver.

I am about to buy my time trial bike.

This is where my dreams of preparing for a Half Ironman Triathlon go from mere mid life crisis day dream to reality. I am putting my money where my mouth is, and more accurately, where my heart is. i have dreamed of this day for a long time and now it is soon to be a reality. there will be a big learning curve but so has everything else that has been worthwhile on this journey. The only way to succeed is to first be willing to fail, to be vulnerable, to let your lack of ability be seen so that it can then be refined.

This is what my bike is going to look like.. this is not my bike yet but these are pictures of the model I am getting .. will post pics later of MY bike :)

This whole purchasing process has really made me stop and think. Am I really ready for such a huge undertaking? Will I follow through? It is one thing to talk the talk, it is quite another to produce. A 1.2 mile swim, 56 mile bike, and a 13.1 mile run is a massive undertaking.

Am I ready to begin making this a reality?

There is a quiet yes coming from within........

Member Comments About This Blog Post:
CINDYSDAY 8/1/2012 11:52AM


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JESPAH 8/1/2012 10:46AM

    ValeriaMaha sent me!

How fantastic - very, very compelling feelings from all of those medals.

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-POLEDANCEGIRL- 8/1/2012 10:09AM

    Quiet yes?!?!? Should be a loud screaming YES coming from inside :)


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VALERIEMAHA 8/1/2012 10:04AM

    You never cease to amaze me, Robert. A hero you are! I have no doubt about you achieving your latest dream...and wha'da bicycle!!!

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BEECHNUT13 8/1/2012 9:58AM

    If you can do it, you're automatically Superman. And I think that with training, YOU (not me!) absolutely CAN do it! :-D

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MIPALADY23 8/1/2012 9:50AM

    LOVE Blogs that go back and evaluate and look at what we learned. I think it is so important to always review and re-evaluate. You can do it if you want it bad enough, you will find a way. Might not end up exactly what or the way you picture it but I bet you will be successful!

Ohhh the various definitions of success.

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SUNRISE14 8/1/2012 9:30AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon

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    I completely agree with JENJESS48. I think you are ready. You're such an inspiration Robert.

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KMSIMMONS1 8/1/2012 9:19AM

  Oh YES YES YES you can. I have NO doubt - especially since you have learned so much as seen in all those medals. You are increasing in knowledge and ability. The payoff will be more medals and one from Ironman hinself!

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CHANGINGSAM 8/1/2012 9:16AM

    Thank you for sharing your medals. I believe in you all the way. I believe that you can do this triathlon. emoticon

Just so you know, I have planned that next summer, I will compete in a race (5K probably), and this blog has really reinforced that goal. Thank you again.

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JENJESS48 8/1/2012 8:54AM

    I love how each medal holds not only a memory but a lesson. That's such a positive way to view things!

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DOODIE59 8/1/2012 8:48AM

    Those medals are FANTASTIC. Not only are they beautiful, they are concrete reminders of really important lessons and stages and victories in your life. Keep them forever.

And thank you for sharing those remarkable lessons -- we all need to learn them:)
Keep up the good work!

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RUNNERRACHEL 8/1/2012 8:48AM

    Great blog. It's wonderful hearing about all those races. I am inspired by the stories of determination and lessons you learned. Through it all, you finished and did it. Wonderful.
emoticon emoticon

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BBAHONORS 8/1/2012 8:29AM

    emoticon You're an inspiration!

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GAELENEC 8/1/2012 8:11AM

    Champions are made, not born.

You're becoming a champion.

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GARDENCHRIS 8/1/2012 8:00AM

    how cool is this blog! Cool! !

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KMMR87 8/1/2012 7:46AM

    No inner voices of doubt! You have accomplished so much! On to another victory and this time give yourself a giant pat on the back!

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    You have a great legacy in your medals and your journey.

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ROXYZMOM 8/1/2012 7:32AM

    Very cool!

Have you read about Jeff Galloway's run/walk training method? He believes you still come out with the same time at the end, like you did. His half marathon training book has good tips in it.

I love the way you have positively reflected on each run. And, if you have co-workers and clients walking in and out of your office, I bet you have inspired them in when they look at your medals.

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    This is not the time for inside voices, Shout it out Robert - YES I WILL DO THIS! We all know you can. The only way you could possibly fail is if you gave up or never even tried at all and we know that is not who you are. More importantly YOU now know that is not who you are. You will accomplish something only the tiniest fraction of people ever do. Thank you for including me on your journey.

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ROUNDTOWNMOM 8/1/2012 7:20AM

    You take away your lessons learned and apply them..............that's what has helped you stay the course, despite some detours along the way. LOVE the looks of the bike...........and you wouldn't be making the investment in a Trek time trial bike if you weren't ready for the commitment! WTG!!!!!!! We'll be here rooting you on!

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ONEKIDSMOM 8/1/2012 7:06AM

    I hear that "yes" echoing. LOVE this blog, man. You have expected much of yourself, faced the fears and insecurities, and DONE it! I love the photo of the woman who finished last in your "I got lost" 10K outing because even the last finisher is still a finisher.

When I did my first tri last weekend, and found I wasn't dead last, it was a HUGE thrill. But before I started thinking I wasn't the last one across the line, the first thought was simply that "I finished". YOU are our own Iron Man... train well... never give up. Avoid injury... and GO FOR IT! emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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LMULLINS4LIFE 8/1/2012 6:20AM

    I've always called you Iron Man. Because I've never once doubted that you could. Luckily, we have friends that believe in us...even when we doubt ourselves. I am that friend for you.

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REGILIEH 8/1/2012 4:46AM


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SARAWALKS 8/1/2012 4:32AM

    WOW, Robert, you are one inspiring dude! I just love your attitude and maybe if I keep at it I will get a medal one day! It IS amazing how much we can do if we just don't give up or compare ourselves to other people, just do our best. Thanks for the wonderful blog, it is so great to hear about your experiences. emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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123ELAINE456 8/1/2012 4:21AM

  Awesome Blog. Congratulations on all your accomplishments and Metals that you have recieved for the races you have been in. You Can Do It!!! God Bless You and have a Wonderful Week. Keep Pushing!!!

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    Oh, yes. Can't wait to hear about this journey too.

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JENNNY135 8/1/2012 1:00AM

    Thanks for sharing. Nice medals. It's good to hear that others have struggles and triumphs, and overcome adversity. You kept on going, learned a lot about yourself through this journey of health. I can relate to it too.

Nice bike, I have a Trek too. Lance Armstrong rides on one, so we are in great company.

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SOCKITTOME 8/1/2012 12:49AM

    Awesome achievement! And you are going to have some seriously NICE wheels, dude! Enjoy!!!

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_MOBII_ 8/1/2012 12:39AM

    Thank you for sharing your journey.

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SWEDE_SU 8/1/2012 12:35AM

    so many excellent lessons - and the one thing it really teaches is.... emoticon emoticon emoticon

well, maybe three things emoticon

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STRIVERONE 8/1/2012 12:31AM

    If past is prelude, you'll nail The H.I.T. as well.

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KAREN42BOYS 8/1/2012 12:28AM

    Lovely humble honest overview of your racing career.

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LORIAPO 8/1/2012 12:26AM

    Thanks for showing us your trophies & telling us some about each of them. I really enjoyed reading it.

I am proud of you!! emoticon
I DO think that you have what it takes to do the Half Iron Man Triathlon.
I bet you will love riding your new bike when you get it!!

I just bought my first "serious" bike 3 weeks ago. It is a Trek Fitness and I love it! I leave it at work (I live too far from work to commute with it) & I have been riding it during my lunch hour and sometimes do longer rides after work on the bike trails. I bought a speedometer/ odometer/ clock thingee for the handlebars; so I know my speed & how far I am going. I can reset for each time; but it also has the overall odometer. I love beating my previous times!!

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    LOVED this blog!! I have yet to do even a 5K but I can't wait to finally do it and get a meddle. I love the memories that each medal brought forth from you. I'm sure you can definitely do anything you set your mind to! You've already proven that! emoticon emoticon emoticon

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SUNNYWBL 8/1/2012 12:23AM

    A journey and lessons learned.

emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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LYNDALOVES2HIKE 7/31/2012 11:53PM

    emoticon emoticon

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TML-2012 7/31/2012 11:37PM

    emoticon You are a huge inspiration!!!

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GINA180847 7/31/2012 11:36PM

    Those medals are great totems and remind you of the emotions involved with each event. It makes me think of those four pairs of bronzed shoes, one from each of my kids. They are my greatest achievements. Are you really going to do that iron man? Dude, that is going to very hard! Wow! So hard yet when even part of it is done you will be the MAN!

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PERFECTLY_LIFE 7/31/2012 11:27PM

    Each race a victory...
1st, last, fast, slow, run, walk, crawl...
You have gone into battle without a sword each time, and yet you have won.
There is no small victory, Robert!


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GARDENSFORLIFE 7/31/2012 11:17PM

    You Can Do It! I enjoyed your pictures. emoticon

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