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My Woo Hoo Wall

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Friday, October 18, 2013

I was sitting in my office at home and reflecting on the last 3 years and it finally dawned on me that I really DO need a break from my routine. I was so focused on pounding out one event after another, so focused on the carrot of another accomplishment, that I never really realized just how HARD I was driving myself. Maybe this whole "downer" episode was simply my body's way of crying uncle.

The whole point of this lifestyle transformation is to lead yourself beside the still waters, not beat yourself into submission.

I took a look at my "woo hoo wall". My woo hoo wall is a special place in my man cave where I hang my trophies. It isn't a place where I brag about what I have done for very few people in my world have seen it. It is a place where I am reminded of the strength I had to do what I did and that, YES, it was ME that crossed the line. Although it is not scripture, I have often envisioned King David being discouraged about something and then, upon seeing the sword of Goliath hanging there, being reminded of what faith he had that day and how he was the victor.

Same here.

While they are not swords, these trophies all represent something huge...

Allow me to share... I'm just doing this to encourage myself so bear with me.


First Half Marathon

First Marathon

First Sprint Triathlon

First 70.3 (70.3 mile triathlon - 1.2 mile swim, 56 mile bike, 13.1 mile run)

First Long Course open water swim - 2.25 miles Teal lake swim (1hr:41 min)
-even got my picture taken with an Olympic Gold Medalist


What really gives me pause is that in the time it took to do all of this, the volume, distance, and intensity has been off the charts. I rapidly came up through the ranks, especially in triathlon. I taught myself how to swim and went from choking on pool water after a couple of laps to taking on a Sprint, a 70.3 and a long course open water swim where I would have finished well below what would have been the swim cut off for the Ironman. When it came to running, I went from huffing and puffing while counting mailboxes to finishing 26.2 miles
-also with some huffing and puffing ;)

I have pushed myself HARD and have done a total of 23 events in 3 years almost exactly and I realize now just what kind of a toll that such a rapid advance has taken on me. I've made some pretty broad jumps, especially for being an everyday athlete.

I believe that this is what has really given me a backbone and the stick-to-it-iveness but it is time to be realistic. If I were training someone, I would never push them as hard as I have pushed myself. I am not Superman.

I guess I said all of this to say this, I am not quitting running or triathlon. I have just finally come to a sense of maturity that says that I cannot out run my demons. I don't have to prove anything so slow down and build myself up both inside and out.

My dream has always been to do an Iron distance triathlon (140.6 miles). In order to work to that level, everything has to be in balance. It takes an elite level of self management, training, and fitness just to make it to get to the starting line much less to the place where they hang a medal around your neck.

It is a mountain I want to climb. While it now stands in the realm of someday, I often look through my minds eye what the view from the top must look like. To breathe the air that few experience, to take in the achievement, to know that I did it. To go from a total couch potato to elite athlete.

The reasons why are deep, visceral, and hard to explain to a casual reader. It's one of those things that come with both a burning yes and also a sense of quiet resolve that shows in the day to day grind.

Something like this is a calling. Even when I was down, my mind would drift and visualize what it has got to feel like to cross THAT finish line. to know that in every sense you are a champion. Feels more like an inevitable destiny, I was born to do this, but to do it, I have to be smart about it.

I'm rambling now... sorry... I'll stop. I went from blogging to dreaming out loud, or are both one and the same?

Member Comments About This Blog Post:
WATERDIAMONDS 10/19/2013 5:02PM

    Obviously, you are an athlete.

But are you aware you're also a writer? And a very very good one.

Thank you for posting such an amazing blog.

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DIANNEMT 10/19/2013 4:40PM

    You DO deserve a "break" but, if you are like me, you need something to strive for. So set some goals and keep working--even if you cut it back just a bit!!

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JSEATTLE 10/19/2013 3:46PM

  Keep on dreaming and keep on going on. Your Wall is just beautiful!! Keep on adding to it!

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IAMAGEMLOVER 10/19/2013 3:37PM

    I love it. emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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JUSGETTENBY42 10/19/2013 3:25PM


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JACKIE542 10/19/2013 1:46PM


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LCRUMLEY81 10/19/2013 1:15PM

  Very nice

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SUSIEMT 10/19/2013 12:59PM

    Good for you! I just wish you hadn't used the phrase "fluffy" athlete. instead please use this--"everyday athlete".

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JOANNHUNT 10/19/2013 12:57PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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NONNAOF2 10/19/2013 12:54PM

  How great that you have a place to visually see all that you have accomplished!! You are not done as of yet in opening another door to new adventures, that I am almost sure of! Way to go!! :-)

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HAPPYMENOW58 10/19/2013 12:39PM

    Awesome self realization! Great blog! Wayyyyy to gooooo! Glad you are feeling better and seeing clearly! Proud of you! emoticon emoticon emoticon

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KLMEIRING 10/19/2013 12:17PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon

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NEPTUNE1939 10/19/2013 11:04AM


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WORKNPROGRESS49 10/19/2013 10:30AM


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GARDENCHRIS 10/19/2013 9:52AM

    good for you.... the point is to ENJOY the journey..... not beat yourself into submission....take some time to stop and look around you at the wonder of it all. emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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GOOSIEMOON 10/19/2013 9:52AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon

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JANEMARIE77 10/19/2013 9:43AM

    they are the same smart is the way to go if you want something bad enough we find a way if not we find or make an excuse! be smart don't make your excuse find the way best of luck

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MIMIDOT 10/19/2013 8:33AM

    Awesome! You've accomplished a lot. You have every reason to be proud.
Congratulations! Job well done!

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JOYCRN 10/19/2013 7:43AM

    I joined the triathlon team here on SP recently and "met" HILLSLUG98239. She has a goal to do an Olympic triathlon for her 50 th birthday in Sept 2015. I have a similar goal of completing one for my 60 th which will be in 2016. There is a lot to do between now and then. Taking a few swim lessons, losing a few pounds, seeing a PT about a recurring "itis", lots of shorter events. emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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MONTREAL12 10/19/2013 7:43AM

  Congratulations on you amazing accomplishments; reflection is good; action essential.

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IDICEM 10/19/2013 7:38AM

    Love your woo hoo wall! Such a great idea to keep a visual reminder of your accomplishments. Your journey is quite impressive. You've reached so many goals already; I have no doubt you will complete your Iron distance triathlon. But it's also great that you've paused for a moment to reevaluate the pace of your journey. Thanks so much for sharing -- you inspire me!
emoticon emoticon

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TRYINGHARD54 10/19/2013 7:35AM

    love the wall. what accomplishments !!!

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BESSHAILE 10/19/2013 7:29AM

    Both are the same

and both are good

and it's good you see how far you've come to remind yourself that you can still get there. If part of the reason you have come so far is because you are running from devils poking you - maybe it's time to turn around and face them in the eye. That too is good. But if your desire and longing and vision is to make it all the way to the top, once you've stared your devils down, just get back on course.

Remember, though - it's a LIFE. Not a lifestyle.

hugs and hugs and hugs to you because you are one of the champions in my journey. Woo Woo

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BLUENOSE63 10/19/2013 7:27AM


Tons of people have the "I Love Me Room" and your hall is no different! Good for you for displaying your triumphant struggle and success!

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SANDYCRANE 10/19/2013 7:08AM

    Great woo-hoo wall. You are a true champion.


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CHERYLHURT 10/19/2013 6:44AM

  Wow, have you come a long way!

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SHYLONESTAR 10/19/2013 5:38AM

    Personally, I think you are AWESOME. Love your wall...such accomplishments! Take a break...continue your dreams. I'm proud of you and don't even know you!

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MARUKI52 10/19/2013 5:03AM

    Can't have put it better than Sierragold. Down time is not slacking it is just recharging the batteries and living a whole balanced life. Keep your goals, of course, but remember to have down time too.

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EVER-HOPEFUL 10/19/2013 3:36AM

    looks like you need a bigger wall robert emoticon

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JIBBIE49 10/19/2013 1:01AM

    Great tp see your blog featured in the Spark Mail. You are an inspiration to one and one half million readers today, according to Spark Guy. emoticon

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STRIVERONE 10/19/2013 12:53AM

    The thing that impressed me most was that you taught yourself to swim. I'd like to do a triathlon, but I don't swim. I think I just accepted that the tri was out of the picture. You've got me rethinking it.

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SIERRAGOLD 10/18/2013 9:10PM

    You're so right. Balance is the key. You are very mature, and insightful to see this. A lot of people use activities to escape and distract from reality, from problems, or from their own thoughts in their head. Sounds like you've got a good balance and when you get a little 'wobbly' (like we all do from time to time) you recognize it and make the necessary corrections, and adjustments. There was a reason you didn't feel like yourself recently, and you figured it out.

I really loved seeing all those pics and reading about all your accomplishments. It's truly amazing. This sounds like something you were born to do, like you said. But if at some point you change your mind, and get into something else, then that's okay too. You never know where this will lead you. Just do whatever it is that you love and you'll do great. You've proven that countless times already.

And 'dreaming out loud' makes for a very interesting blog! emoticon


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NILLAPEPSI 10/18/2013 8:18PM

    emoticon emoticon wall. Look at all you've accomplished. Dude, you're a rock star in my book. emoticon emoticon

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MOBYCARP 10/18/2013 7:30PM

    Sometimes you need to rest between major efforts. You seem to be in that place right now, and it's a good time to look at the Woo Hoo Wall and appreciate the effort that you're resting from.

The fact that you're resting right now does not mean that you won't do the iron tri; it just means that the project of preparing for it has not yet started. You will get there, when the time is right for you.

Meanwhile, enjoy a well earned period of rest . . . even though what looks like "rest" to you now might have looked like strenuous effort to the you of a few years ago.

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ONEKIDSMOM 10/18/2013 7:18PM

    I KNOW you will get there. I have learned even with myself to "never say never"... but also have had the reality checks that I'm 60 years old and it takes me longer to "train up". I like to take on just ONE step up at a time... but always there is that unstated dream at the end ... after this one, comes that one.

You are so right that you can't outrun the demons. We have to face them, too. But sometimes running is part of the strategy. Feel good... that's a GREAT collection of "I did it" mementoes.

You remain one of the most AWESOME folks I know... because you may have your "downer" times... but you don't give up. Proud of you, Robert! emoticon

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FORMYDARLINGS 10/18/2013 7:08PM

    AN interesting blog. You seem to realize the scope of your achievements but also realize the punishing routine you have set for yourself. I think you have the right idea going here and maybe it is time to train like a pro would, with a trainer. You can certainly achieve your dream, just be really smart about it.


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LINDAK25 10/18/2013 5:54PM

    This is great: build yourself up, do it right so that you are well prepared, and then you can realize your dream. You're right. It's the only way to succeed. It's going to take patience, but it will be worth the time.

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WILDFLOWERMA 10/18/2013 5:43PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon

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CLPURNELL 10/18/2013 5:04PM

    emoticon emoticon

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LIVEDAILY 10/18/2013 4:07PM

    LOVE your Woo Hoo wall!!
emoticon emoticon emoticon
It's a wondrous goal to have, but I know you will work towards it-and at the same time, continue to become the healthier and fit you!

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PRESBESS 10/18/2013 3:26PM

    Funny... "I went from blogging to dreaming out loud". :)

Nonetheless, you have indeed been a fitness superman. You've accomplished a whole bunch. I'm very impressed that you taught yourself how to swim. Way to go! I'm not sure what your plan is going forward, just know that you are were and still are worth the fight.

Robert, you rock!

Comment edited on: 10/18/2013 3:27:17 PM

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BLUENOSE63 10/18/2013 3:11PM

  Now that's the Robert I know! Glad to see the spirit is on the mend.

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QUAIL75 10/18/2013 2:11PM

    Awesome! You are such an inspiration and I know you will do the Ironman when you are ready! emoticon emoticon emoticon

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IMSMILEY88 10/18/2013 1:24PM

    I love your room! We will be moving soon & I think I'll have to find a place to put my 'reminders' out on display. At least on display for ME! I've been planning on a scrapbook for my bibs, but haven't done it yet.

We are in a marathon, not a sprint, right? So, keep taking the time to do things right.... one step at a time!

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GARDENQE2 10/18/2013 11:30AM

    What a wonderful collection of "WOO HOOS"
You are heading into a new and better chapter of your life
Just for fun, go back and read your own blog from September 20, 2009!

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WILLIAMV3 10/18/2013 11:25AM

    Wonderful! You are an inspiration. I love your woo hoo wall. You've come a long way baby! emoticon emoticon

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_JODI404 10/18/2013 11:13AM

    I think refocusing your efforts is a great plan for meeting your future goals.

I'm so glad to hear you are feeling more positive and ready to move forward again!


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OBIESMOM2 10/18/2013 11:04AM

love the wall. Thanks for sharing the pictures.
yes, you do need to step back and re-calibrate. Get that balance in your life.
Obviously you WILL conquer any goal you set!

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LINDAKAY228 10/18/2013 10:51AM

    I love your wall! Although I've not done the distances you have done, I I have my bibs and other things hanging in my bedroom on the wall to remind me of things I've accomplished that I never thought I could. Sometimes you do have to slow down and take it easier and build up more to the goals you want to accomplish. You have done an amazing job and I know you will reach even greater heights!

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LEWILL1982 10/18/2013 10:48AM

    Holy cow, I get it! Give yourself a break, catch your breath, take the steps to be your best, healthiest self. That Ironman will come. You've accomplished so much and can do so much more, but don't wear your body (or your mind) down, we're only given one! You can do it!

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