What I learned from the Ironman that changed my life

The Ironman triathlon consists of a 2.4-mile swim, a 112-mile bike ride ending with a 26.2-mile marathon run. What went on from the very instant I decided to attempt it to finally finishing the race taught me more than I could have ever learned from a college degree of study.

“It was like anything that has ever been worthwhile in my life; it was hard, painful and memorable.” Michael Lantz

It was like anything that has ever been worthwhile in my life; it was hard, painful and memorable. I learned a great deal about the conflict of my body hurting and wanting to stop and my mind playing tricks on me, tempting me to quit.

If I had to sum up the top three things I learned about myself it would include these.


I learned that my level of commitment is equal to the importance I place on my goals and dreams. When I decided to do my first Ironman on April 15, 2007, I was all in. I was not going to let anything get in the way of crossing that finish line. 

Why set goals?

Goals setters see opportunity. Those that don’t have goals become skeptics.

Goal setters look for knowledge to accomplish their goals. Those that don’t never crack a book.

Goal setters are able to add value to others and make a better income. Those that don’t avoid helping others.

Goal setters are happier. Those that don’t never understand that happiness is something you create.

Goal setters preform actions leading to accomplishment. Those that don’t seek inaction and are always rewarded with nothing.

Goal setters are open to new relationships. Those that don’t avoid new relationships because they fear the worse.

Set goals. Don’t be one that doesn’t.


Seeing that which no one else sees

I’ve had my kids try and explain certain things to me that they could understand but I couldn’t. “Oh, dad!” they’d exclaim.

I understand things that I wished my kids would let me teach them. “Dad, that’s old stuff!” they’d roll their eyes back in their heads.

I’m sure you totally understand certain things that you wished everyone could see as clearly as you.

When I finally understand a truth it’s really a blessing to me. I’m sure you feel the same way.

I like the quote, “When the student is ready the teacher will appear.”

It seems to me that the key for me to teach the truth to my children is recognizing when they are ready to be taught. Usually I know they are ready when they ask me for advice or help (I like it when they tell me how smart I really am when they learn to deal with their own children). At other times when they may be struggling and I have knowledge that will help them I’ll simply ask, “I used to struggle with that too. I don’t anymore. Would you be open to learning what I did?” Almost always they will say yes.

I’m sure why you see things that others don’t is that you were once the “student” who was ready to learn. You either found a teacher or the teacher somehow found you.

Now I know why blind people can see better than those with sight. It’s that “ready to learn” pair of glasses.