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    ON2VICTORY   47,192
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I WILL

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Thursday, August 23, 2012

As I write this, I am rapidly approaching my 43rd birthday (August 28th). For most of us, the looming specter of our forties is the kiss of death to any illusions of youth, vitality, and for some, hope for change. Everywhere blogs abound speaking of the urgency of accomplishing this or that before I hit the dreaded 40 as if at the stroke of midnight, the death angel will come and steal away all hopes and dreams with a single blow.

At 38, I was in the same boat.

Here I am 5 years later on top of the world. It has taken dedication and a commitment to cause that borders on fanaticism. When I was in the Air Force, I worked the flight line. How awesome it was to watch the FB-111 take off in full afterburner. Your chest would shake from the roar, the brilliant purple flame rocketing it's passengers to thousands of feet within seconds. Then they would have to refuel right away..... Wow, how come? It takes far less fuel to maintain altitude than it does to break the bonds of gravity.

It seems as if our forties is a time of reckoning with the years of careless, excuse filled living. One day we wake up and what we see in the mirror scares us. Like the fighter jet, to break the bonds that holds us down, will require maximum single minded effort. I found in my journey it isn't perfection that gets you there, it is the hard core, Hell or high water, never quit no matter what attitude that wins. I have screwed up so bad sometimes one would wonder if I was even trying but I never gave up....still don't.

I guess all of this train of thought came about because I was searching my own heart for something to be thankful for. I look back and I realize that I have beaten the odds. It wasn't a random, gosh you are sure lucky sort of occurrence. It happened because although discouraged, I never quit. I love what I do too much. It is this love for the bike, then the run, then ultimately the swim that has given me so much focus.

I have OWNED my forties. These are the best years of my life...ever. I am in the best shape of my life, don't let the spare tire fool you. I am a work in progress for sure but I am a champion, a warrior for my age group.

Friday, I finished a 53 mile ride in 3 hrs 30 min with a max speed at almost 36 mph average of 15. Just yesterday, after work, I decided to go for a ride. What started as a simple ride turned into the final two legs of an Olympic distance triathlon. On a wild hair I just went with the flow and did 26+miles on the bike then transitioned to a 10k run....insane right?? Today, I felt great at work. For sure I am taking today off but I mean who does stuff like that just for fun???

I do.

I did it because it flies in the face of my past where I had chest pains and wheezed just climbing stairs. I did it because I celebrate my freedom by pushing my limits, it's just in me to do it. I can get like that, leap without looking, just do it. I dunno, sometimes I just gotta.

I guess for me, being in my forties means being old enough to know better but still young enough to do it anyway...

I digress. I'm really not some dude with a chip on his shoulder or something to prove ...except...to himself.

I will never recapture the wasted years of my thirties. I refer to them as the lost decade. However, this one thing I will do, I will never quit, never give up, and never lay my sword down. I will never accept someone else's standard for my life, neither will I accept any less out of myself than the very best I can do. Life is too short to do any less.

This is the very heart of what it is to be an Ironman...

The essence of I WILL.
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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SBNORMAL 8/31/2012 2:03PM

  I have to redo the last end of my 40's,so I get to subtract those from my age and start again. Enjoy the 40's and those lonnnnnnnnnnnng bike rides!!

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MOMMY2MADILYN 8/30/2012 11:22PM

    Your attitude is AWESOME and contagious! I'm not yet in my forties but I also share the attitude that this is MY time to shine and accomplish my goals and be truly fulfilled! Keep up the great work!!! emoticon

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BELIEVING-N-ME 8/29/2012 5:53PM

    Happy Belated Birthday! I love your attitude!

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DOTTY7267 8/29/2012 3:33PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon Happy Birthday! I'm 45, and I'm loving it. One thing about the 40s for me was letting go of the small things that I let hold me back, and I began focusing on me and my health. I realized I couldn't do anything for anyone else if my health and wellbeing was not right. It also helped that the girls were almost grown too! emoticon


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MANILUS 8/28/2012 8:38PM

    You have the right attitude, keep it up!

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KITHKINCAID 8/28/2012 7:03PM

    Great blog. I feel this way about my 30s, and thank god I reclaimed them. Things are so much better now!

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3016DEBRA 8/28/2012 12:41AM

  emoticon emoticon emoticon HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!

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SHE-LION 8/28/2012 12:26AM

    emoticon

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J2740LOU 8/27/2012 9:28PM

    No wasted years. Those years helped to make you the person you are today! emoticon emoticon

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BROWNIEISLANDER 8/27/2012 7:07PM

    Its an achievment...never dread age..Life is beautiful and meant to be Enjoyed....Its
Our birthright! emoticon emoticon

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ESME25 8/27/2012 3:51PM

    emoticon emoticon

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GODSBEST 8/27/2012 2:31PM

    What a great present to give yourself - the realization that your 40's is a great time in your life and things will only get better as you go through your 50's and 60's and so on. Happy Birthday!

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MOMMARUNNER77 8/27/2012 2:10PM

    happy almost birthday.... I turn GULP 35 of Saturday.... I guess there is nothing I can do about it... but I am happy, healthy...what's a number??!!!

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MINISANDY 8/27/2012 10:26AM

    It's wonderful that you made a plan and worked that plan!

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CAROLCRC 8/27/2012 8:18AM

    Sounds like my 50's. Yesterday I ran 9.5 miles... and no, I'm not training for a race - just keeping up my base endurance.

I'm 55 - not many of us just go run for 2 hours - just because...

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TATTER3 8/27/2012 5:47AM

    Yea you!!! Keep Sparkin'!!!

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NCSUE0514 8/27/2012 5:35AM

    Happy ((almost)) birthday!

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EWL978 8/27/2012 3:35AM

    emoticon

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LIZALOT 8/27/2012 3:30AM

    Great attitude! and very inspiring too! I loved my forties, not because I did any real sport (although I did try to take up ice hockey would you believe, just for a season) but it was a good decade. Now I'm in my late-ish fifties and running, so yes it's doable.

Have a very happy birthday tomorrow

emoticon

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DRB13_1 8/26/2012 11:41PM

    Great blog, as always
I really appreciate your analogy about the jets - it takes real effort to get started on this journey but I can look forward to cruising altitude at SOME point!
Soar on... emoticon

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SALEX52 8/26/2012 11:38PM

    Good for you for figuring thsi out as you faced forty. For me, it took facing 60! Like you, I now find this decade to be the best yet!

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STLRFNS 8/26/2012 10:52PM

    Ironman is my favorite superhero. Congratulations on your mindset - because i so agree, your core gets you there! Happy Birthday!

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XHENA16 8/26/2012 10:13PM

  Wow...as I was reading your blog, I was feeling so inspired and motivated ...thank you for sharing your thoughts and for motivating me to do more and better emoticon

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NAOLEE 8/26/2012 9:59PM

    emoticon and Happy Birthday.

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XJANA_X3 8/26/2012 9:41PM

    What an excellent read! Congratulations on your success... and Happy Birthday!

emoticon

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DVIRGADAM 8/26/2012 8:59PM

    I may have wasted some time here and there in my forties, but I am in my fifties now, and determined to lose weight and get fit right now, before any more times passes, or before I have any more health issues. My husband is physically fit, and has been since we met. Me, though, have been overweight (obese really) at the outset. I lost weight for my wedding only to gain the weight back. I've tried Jenny Craig, Nutrisystems, and Weight Watchers only to say that they do work to take the pounds off, but much too easy to pack the pounds back on once you get skinny and get comfortable with eating again. I have vowed that this times it is going to be different. This time I am going to lose the weight, and gain a whole new fitness mentality. I never liked to exercise. Now, with Sparkpeople I exercise almost every day, and I actually look forward to it! Never waste a minute on thinking about the past. Live for today, it is all we really have. Good luck on your weight loss journey!

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DMANN104 8/26/2012 7:03PM

    emoticon
My husband & I are going through a similar changing mind set, only we have just started our 30's, I tend to look at my 20's as my lost decade! emoticon

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BLUENOSE63 8/26/2012 7:02PM

  Nothing wrong with reflection and reevaluation....that is how we grow!

From a 49 year old Ironwoman -- started the Ironman thing a couple of years ago

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SKINNYMINNIE25 8/26/2012 6:56PM

    LIve & learn my friend.

Skinny

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ILOVEJIM851991 8/26/2012 6:55PM

    Well I admire your determination I started getting healthy in my 50's so I had 2 lost decades and I definitely agree it's never too late. emoticon emoticon emoticon

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BLOOMING52 8/26/2012 6:45PM

    Thank you!

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MOMMAKNOWSBEST 8/26/2012 6:09PM

  Happy Birthday Ironman!

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MUSOLF6 8/26/2012 5:50PM

    emoticon emoticon for sharing a great blog

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CAROL494 8/26/2012 3:56PM

  emoticon

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KNEEMAKER 8/26/2012 3:02PM

  60 is even better. WOW it is so nice to be here now. It took a few years but I made it. Many I know including a brother did not. Life is grand. I am going to enjoy it while I can.

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TJCADDO 8/26/2012 2:11PM

    Terrific! Forties are just the beginning. I look at Ernestine Shepherd who started at 56 and I stop worrying. She's 75 now and has the body of someone in her 20s'.

Look her up. She is a competitive body builder.

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JESSIEJACKS76 8/26/2012 1:26PM

    awesome blog!!

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WEEPINGANGEL74 8/26/2012 12:45PM

    emoticon emoticon

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IFEOMA4 8/26/2012 11:57AM

  emoticon I like your outlook

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SARAWALKS 8/26/2012 11:32AM

    Incredible blog, Robert. emoticon
During my forties I started grad school and thought I was in the best shape of my life, and in many ways I was!
I started a new career in my fifties that will take me to retirement next year and home ownership, something I never thought I would achieve on a single income. A small home, to be sure, but a nice home that I enjoy.
And in my SIXTIES I began to take exercise seriously again which led to walking which led to Europe which led to more walking which led to Spark and running and assorted other things.
IT IS NEVER TOO LATE! And your blog is a perfect example of that.
Just think of all the WONDERFUL years ahead of you, Ironman!
emoticon emoticon emoticon

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JACKIE542 8/26/2012 10:28AM

    Great blog!

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THEIS58 8/26/2012 10:28AM

    Excellent blog. Thanks for sharing!

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LAURIE5658 8/26/2012 10:12AM

    Such rawkness and awesomeness! Robert, our son was a load toad with F-15's and lived on the flightline. What was your MOS?

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DEBBIEG1232 8/26/2012 10:08AM

  We share a birthday-- although the years don't match. (I am several years your senior.) But now we share a mantra-- I Will as well. Thanks for your great article. Well written

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NUMD97 8/26/2012 9:56AM

    As always, Robert, you inspire me. And after reading a blog of yours, my day is automatically better. That says a lot about you. And I thank you for that.

Comment edited on: 8/26/2012 9:56:51 AM

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MINTYFRESH303 8/26/2012 8:57AM

    I needed this blog this morning!

I lost 157lbs several years ago and kept it off for a very long time. However, as my 30s became stressful, I slowly began to see the weight come back. Now, at 38 (birthday was last month) and 47 lbs back on my body, I know I have to lose the weight NOW because it's not going get easier

I hope I have the opportunity to write a similar blog when I turn 43! :D

Comment edited on: 8/26/2012 8:58:28 AM

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SBELLI26 8/26/2012 8:50AM

  You have so captured the essence of what we go through in our forties. When my best friend and I were in our late twenties and having kids, we made a pact that by the time we turned 40 we would be back in shape and looking hot so we could hit the beaches of Isreal and be smokin'.

Well here I am at 45 no where near where I planned to be. Although I lost 20 lbs in the last 2 1/2 months, I'm still 70 lbs from goal.

But this time around things feel different. Out of the blue I seem to have the motivation to stick with it. Don't know where it came from, call it a midlife crisis if you will, but I'm ever so grateful for it. And as I start to see the outline of my younger figure in the mirror, the thought of actually going all the way this time is exciting.

It's making we feel young again. Thank you for your added inspiration.

Comment edited on: 8/26/2012 8:55:24 AM

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CUDDLYPOLARBEAR 8/26/2012 8:21AM

    Great blog

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GRACED777 8/26/2012 8:20AM

    The same thing holds true in my early 60s. Thought it was all over after I went through a serious stroke 5 days after turning 58. Now at 61 I am feeling much better and stronger. I'm still working to get the rest of the way back...You are a real encouragement...keep on keepin' on... .

emoticon

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NYKIMMIE 8/26/2012 7:59AM

    Great blog!

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