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.

Commitment

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. 

Who can you believe today?

I’ve listened to people I knew and my ears were immediately closed.

I’ve listened to complete strangers and my ears were completely open to hear more.

Why is that? Was it possible that the people I knew had a message that I needed to hear but I shut my ears?

I’ve had messages for others that knew me and I was sure they didn’t listen even though I was sure they would benefit from the truth taught. I’ve even had messages for others that didn’t know me but their ears were opened.

There is a saying, “Line upon line. Precept upon precept. Here a little. There a little.” If I tell you these simple things and you don’t believe me, how shall you believe me if I tell you truths of a higher magnitude?

Like a smart mentor told me once. If I’m helping an airline pilot, speak to him/her in their language. Such as, if I was wanted to teach them the concept of breaking though a personal barrier, I’d want them to know that it would take a great effort in the beginning as they were making new changes and then they would be rewarding with comfort after they broke through. To explain in their language I might use the analogy they’d probably understand. I’d explain in the beginning of making new changes that it would be like giving the plane full throttle upon taking off to break the earth’s gravity until the plane reached cruising altitude and then they could ease off the throttle and the plane would fly faster and in comfort.

Next time you need to teach a concept to an adult start with teaching as if you’re speaking to a child who is learning it for the first time. As my smart mentor taught me, if I’m speaking to child, speak to him/her in their language.

Line upon line. Precept upon precept. Here a little. There a little.

You get it!