What drives you… This is a question that I’m sitting here thinking about as I drink my Sunday morning coffee. What drives you… What drives me… What makes you want to get out there and do the things that you do, whatever they are? I would imagine that we all have different answers to the question, but they’re probably similar underneath.
I am getting closer to beginning my “official” training for Ironman Lake Tahoe. As training nears closer, the driving forces weigh more heavily heavy on my mind. I think about the time that I’ll spend training, which is time that I’ll sacrifice from doing other things. Things like a relaxing sunday morning of coffee and eggs with my kiddo. Don’t get me wrong, I won’t sacrifice that entirely, but I’ll have to find a balance. And for a few minutes I succumb to the look in other people’s eyes when I tell them the amount of training that goes in to completing a 140.6 mile endurance event. One hundred and forty point six miles. From where I sit at present, I would be traveling from here to Binghamton, NY.
In one day. Seventeen hours or less to be exact. Otherwise, those words that I hear in my head ….. those words spoken only by Mike Reilly, well, they won’t happen. So back to the question at hand, what drives you. I’m not sure that I can answer the question fully, but I can try to answer what’s driving me today.
Fun – In some weird way, it’s fun. Ok, maybe triathlon loses some of it’s “fun” factor when you get into these long endurance events, but generally speaking triathlon is fun. It’s a swim, bike and a run. You get to hang out with a lot of other like-minded people and do something that you’re really enjoying. That’s a good place to be… having fun.
The Challenge – Ok, so you lost some of the fun factor when you went to long course racing, but what you picked up was the challenge. Yeah its super fun to go out and race a sprint triathlon and be done in a little over an hour, but once you step it up to long course now you have to go out, pace yourself and endure the event. So it’s a challenge. It’s a mental and physical challenge to keep going even when your body wants to quit. I (and everyone else) tell people all the time, that long course triathlon is mostly mental. Your body is capable of amazing things, but you have to use the power of your mind to keep going because our bodies always want to stop long before they actually need to. Embrace the challenge.
The Family – The family that you earn, gain, love on the way there. When it comes down to it, an event like Ironman Lake Tahoe isn’t really all about that day. A lot of the story is written before hand in the journey that gets us from the registration button to the start line. It’s the people who you meet, the friends that you make and the family that you embrace. While these people aren’t your blood relatives, they often spend just as much if not more time with you. These bonds, this journey, are the life blood of triathlon. These are the people who get you out there, that push you along through your training, that prop you up when you fall down and that cheer you to the finish line whether in spirit or in person. This is an important family.
They Work Out…
Through the wind and the rain…
And My Real Family – All of them. I’m showing you and me that I’m one to be counted. You can be proud of me because I will be at the finish. I will go after it with all that I have and when my name is called I’ll be there. You can count on me.
This includes my kiddo. I hope that through my pursuits, I’m able to teach him the greatest life lesson that I’ve learned. There is no cant in life. There is only can. If you set your mind to something no dream is too big and no star is too high. I say go for it. You may fall from time to time, but as long as you get back up and keep going, you can do anything.
Supporting me at my very first triathlon
Me – I drive me. I used to be a person who lived in a fog. I look back and I see myself and honestly, at this point, I don’t even recognize that person. I don’t know what I was doing, what I was passionate about or whether I really even cared most of the time. I don’t want to be that person. I want to be a person who is driven. A person who sets goals and meets them. Someone you can wait for at the finish line because indeed I am there. Let’s be honest here, I am terrified of Ironman Tahoe. In some ways I wish I hadn’t pulled the trigger so quickly and had given my first Iron distance race a little more thought, but on the other hand, here’s my challenge. I can either let it swallow me up or I can fight. I can fight and be driven and I can hear my name at that finish line. That’s who I want to be. The girl who doesn’t give up, not even on herself. So, I drive me.
So, on this Sunday morning, those are just a few of the reasons that I do what I do. I’m inspired to go after it. Between registering to volunteer again at Lake Placid and getting ready to embark on my own journey, I know that I have to be driven or I won’t get there and that oftentimes that drive has to be bigger than just me. So, this is why I’m driven today, how about you?