Thursday, February 16, 2006

Because I can...

Ever since I made the committment to race an iron distance event (140.6 miles) people have asked me "why?". "Why would you want to do that?" "Why is that fun?" "Why not try something a little easier on your body?" My answer has always been "Why not?" With proper training, perseverance, mental toughness, and a little luck "Why Not" go for it and complete what is considered to be the hardest single-day sporting event in the world. Recently my answer has changed a bit. Instead of responding with "Why not?" I've found myself saying "Because I can."

I see so many patients who struggle to breath every day. People who smoked for 50 years, young patients with genetic diseases they had no control over, and those who were exposed to chemicals/allergens/etc. For so many of these folks simply getting dressed in the morning can prove to be the hardest thing they can do all day. I'm not implying their struggles are not significant. Rather, I fell blessed and fortunate that my body allows me to push the limit every day. Of course my dad's perseverance has motivated me to go just a little farther or just a little faster even when my legs/heart/lungs say no. Often, the montra chanted deep inside my head becomes "If he can struggle through the day I can finish this [run, ride or swim] strong. Don't give up! Go harder."

Each time I leave the house for a workout I remind myself how lucky I am to be able to train and drive myself that much harder. I can't predict what will happen in the future. I could get hurt. I could get sick. I could burn out. In the past I may have indicated I do this for the love of fitness, the thrill of competition, and the establishment of lifelong friendships. The reality has become I want to be an Ironman because I can...swim 2.4 miles, bike 112 miles, and run 26.2 miles...all in one day.


Anonymous Anonymous said...


I enjoyed reading this

I quickly realized what a huge undertaking this is

Look forward to seeing you this summer when you head to the east coast for the race

Take care,

Your cousin John

7:52 AM  

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