The Hardest Part of Ironman

"So what is the hardest part of Ironman?"

Standing in the elevator at work, a person in my building noticed my IM Florida Finishers jacket. He asked me, "So, what was the hardest part?" while pointing to my jacket.

I turned to him, smiled, and replied "Signing up."

 I never would have been wearing that jacket if I did not start.  And believe me when I say that it takes the most courage to sign that piece of paper and hand over your $750+ non-refundable entry fee.

Do you know why there are so few Ironman finishers in the world?  At IM Florida, they celebrated the 500,000th individual finisher of the Ironman races.  That is a lot of people in general, but that is over multiple races world-wide in all 30 years (as of race day in 2012) of the branded event as it is held today.  The reason why it took 30 years to hit half a million Ironman finishers is simple: the fear of the unknown.

I am taking away from the Ironman experience the knowledge that I can take on anything.   And more importantly, I am taking with me a lesson in how to start.

Long before my dreams of Ironman would come to fruition, I had a dream to be able to look into a mirror and love myself.

I realized that dream on this journey to the Ironman and beyond.  I found happiness in my flaws.  I stopped seeing myself as a body and started seeing myself as a person. A whole person. 

 Never give up, but more importantly have the courage to START.

Who knows where you will end up... but isn't that the fun of it?