Sunday, January 22, 2012

Ironman Confession

It feels like time to finally write about it-to say it. Sometimes our best efforts end in failure. What can I say? It happens. With my ironman effort, it happened.

For various reasons out of my control, I dropped out of my ironman distance effort about a month and a half ago. That hurt. For about a week I was in a mental funk. Then over the next weeks, training became inconsistent. Oh, I have had some good bike rides, but my limited training is generally unmotivated. It is as if I were in mourning. And, in a way, maybe I have been. Didn't feel like writing about it until now.

It seemed like the death of a dream. At my age, how much longer can I exxpect to be able to train like I need to in order to do an ironman? How can I expect to be able to be dedicated to ironman training ever, when life situations and family seem to always require my dedication?

But, there were good times in my short-lived venture into ironman. For about a week I was so pumped that I couldn't sleep. My thoughts in quiet times went to ironman, and I was already visioning my effort on event day. I was intensely alive for that time, and I thank God for how it made me feel. And I thank Him for the humility I have received in having to cope with this disappointment. But sometimes it is hard to be thankful for a broken heart.

At the same time, I have also achieved an even higher level of respect and admiration for the folks that manage to somehow overcome and make it to the starting line. They should give these folks medals for just getting there. Somehow their courage, their triumph won't let me give in. I see the faces. I view the pictures and sense that feeling of being in ironman training.

I want that picture of me back. How? I don't know. I honestly don't know. But I do know that life says try and something says I must. Now my goal is not only to cross the finish line and have it said that I am an ironman. No, I want the whole package - the entire experience, the journey. I pray that God will one day honor me again with the opportunity and bless me with the discipline of training for an ironman. I want the honor, the thrill of getting into the water with my heroes to start an ironman day.

Yes, sometimes our best efforts only lead to failure, but as the song says,
"Failure isn't final with the Father."