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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?
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
  • v JAROL7
    Some people WISH for it ... we WORK for it! Go get `em!
    1008 days ago
  • v JAROL7
    Thank you for sharing ALL of it. I enjoyed reading it. It is why my wife and I started 7 years ago to pursue competitive table tennis. We just got the bronze medal in the B class of an open tournament in Sioux Falls, SD and our goal is to medal at the national senior games. We are currently both 75. My other goal is to be in a tournament at 100. This is our health program. My wife says, "If a doctor told you to touch your toes 100 times a day you would never do it. But we will pick up 300 balls and not give it a thought. We work out 5 times a week and love it. We do 6-9 tournaments a year. So, be kind to your body but pursue your dreams.
    1008 days ago
    Love your whoo hoooo wall and go right on dreaming out loud! I loved this post! I have no doubt you WILL reach your goal of that Iron distance Tri!!!
    1008 days ago
    Robert, over the course of the past few years you have blogged about all sorts of things you'd love to accomplish "one day." EVERY SINGLE ONE OF THEM YOU HAVE ACCOMPLISHED. The iron man title WILL be yours one day. Why wouldn't it be? BUT to come to the conclusion that you first need to make sure everything is in balance is the true resolve of an elite athlete. Don't degrade yourself to anything less. Even the strongest of athletes knows that there comes a time when they need to take a step back and prepare themselves both mentally and physically before they can train to accomplish their tasks. Your hearts desire through the last few years has always been to be something better, something greater...looking back at the man you were 3 years ago what would THAT guy say to you? More than likely he'd fall to his knees and weap because you allowed that old Robert to live a life he had only dreamed of living up to that point. You gave him a future. Gone are the days when it hurt to climb the stairs. Gone are the days when you didn't want to tie your shoes in front of anyone. Gone are the days where you just sat around dreaming. YOU are better and greater...please realize that in yourself. No one did any of this for you. YOU did it...for both you and your family. YOU are stronger than that Robert from 3 years ago. YOU are better than that Robert from 3 years ago. Why? Because you chose to live. Just like you are choosing to live now.

    Take your time and ease into this new phase of your life. New dreams may push their way forward. Grasp onto the knowledge that you have accumulated and run with it my friend. Your family here will be looking forward to seeing you on this new journey.
    1008 days ago
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