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. 

Paying the price

I personally know three convicts. Each sentenced for different crimes. One served 2 years and the other two men served 5+ year sentences. One is still serving and slated to be released sometime next year.

One of them that served two years had a tough life upon returning home. He was married and his wife faithfully waited and supported him during his incarceration. I worked with him before he served his sentence. I worked with his wife during his absence and again with him after he returned home.

Unfortunately their marriage ended and several years of a tough child custody battle raged. In the end his wife was awarded primary custody of their children. It took a toll on her and the children. They didn’t really like being with him or his new wife afterward. After several hard years his wife is getting back on her feet and

Searching for people to join with you?

When I was a boy I used to see hitchhikers all over the place. When our family drove from Las Vegas to Clinton, Oklahoma to visit grandma and grandpa you’d see hitchhikers all the way there.

How did I know they were hitchhiking? Of course they had their thumb sticking out.

But I also knew where they were headed because they held up a cardboard sign.

If we were headed to Oklahoma it wouldn’t make sense to pick up one going to Montana. It would be bad for both of us.

hitchhiker-88746-530-644As Seth Godin taught me, “If you’ve got people on your bus who are headed somewhere you have no intention of going, today might be a good day for them to get off the bus.”

Ever felt ashamed of your health and the way you look?

There is a way of life in the East called Genshai. It means to never treat another person in a manner that would make them feel small…..including yourself.

Our health is under attack. There are really evil companies producing products that would compromise your health for the sake of their profit.

Major food companies remove nutritional quality to make the food taste good so you’ll buy and eat it. Then after you eat enough of it your health deteriorates. Then with poor health, the medical profession just shoves a pill in you allowing you to eat more bad food. What a racket! It’s no wonder to me why the nation’s health care costs have gone from 1/20th of the US economy (1964) to 1/6 (2016)?

Then all these ripped models showing off lean bodies as if to say, “If you’re not like me then you are not cool. Buy my fitness plan and be cool.”

All of this is really shame. You feel like you are convicted. That being unhealthy is somehow substandard and a crime? People have disdain for overweight people more overweight than them self (insecurity, judgement and criticism with shame). Then the food ads suggest, “Eat my food and be cool because your life sucks! [shame]” Or, “Look like me because you look horrible! [shame]”

Yet ask others this question. Who is without guilt, without ever being less than perfect, cast the first judgement?

Do you know what would happen?

They would all have to leave. You’d be standing by yourself. Everyone is imperfect.

It’s okay to not be healthy. Why? Because standing alone you know you’re worthy of health. You’re worthy to give yourself some love. To disperse any shame you may feel. Shame will do more damage to your health than bad food and lifestyle ever will.

Practice Genshai and as you treat others so they won’t feel small, you’ll begin to treat yourself that way too.

I think you’re perfect. You can be made healthy just because you want to. That is pure perfection!

Now, feel big! You are pure Genshai!

 

The hardest thing to trust

I often wondered when I saw certain people who seemed to have what I wanted say that they just gave all that they could and was blessed with their abundance.

What? They gave all that they could and then they received?

“What principle is this?” I asked.

I thought it was about me “getting” my abundance. I couldn’t imagine just giving and giving. I thought once I gave it away it was gone forever. After all, men are just in life for them self.

Then something changed for me. I learned that this principle might be true.

Then I had that moment of test, “I’m on the edge of the cliff and if I want to fly, I have to jump off.”

I had to trust in something I couldn’t see. I’ve learned it’s called faith.

I grew up with the attitude that I couldn’t really trust anyone. Now, at the edge of the cliff, I had to bury that belief and jump.

Thankfully, I didn’t die after I jumped. I was scared though. I still am.

Have I successfully executed my test? Have I received more than I’ve given like people have shared had happened to them?

Yes, I have. I have been rewarded with self worth. I have been rewarded with the belief that I’m worthy of being the person who can be trusted. I’m equal in every way with all men and that abundance can be mine.

Imagine that? It’s all about trust. I learned that the reason I couldn’t trust this principle or trust others is because I didn’t trust myself.

Today I do trust. I don’t trust man. I trust the Creator of all. The more I give, the more I receive. In that order is the only way to make it work. That is the test.

Will it be scary for you at the edge of that cliff?