From Alcoholism to Ironman: Part 3

Updated: Jan 14, 2020

As the calendar year ends, it seems as though the training calendar is just beginning. I’ve been training for about four months and I’ve noticed some things about myself:

1. I have lost my attitude of gratitude.

I have gotten too focused on training plans, power numbers, and stroke counts. All of which are very important, but I am starting to lose touch. We as budding athletes/triathletes are very fortunate in so many ways. There is much to take for granted. We all have many physical gifts we have that others do not - there are many, many people that simply cannot do what we do, because they are physically unable. I am forgetting to slow down and appreciate running and simply enjoying the outdoors. It just takes a moment to be grateful.

2. I have gained patience.

I have lived most of my life reliant on the instant gratification that drugs and alcohol provided. I could always reach my goal of oblivion in a matter of minutes. Training however, is the exact opposite. It has taken me weeks to see improvements. Vicki preaches patience, and of course, she is right. I have stuck with the plan (SWTFP) and it is paying off, slowly. It has been frustrating at times, but like it or not, it seems to be the only way.

Side note: The closest thing I’ve come to instant gratification in my training has been the Swiminar put on by Vicki and Amy Croonquist - completely change my swimming in just a few short hours.

3. I have lost some balance in my life.

I train 5-6 times a week - maybe not for long periods of time, but it’s the focal point of my day. If I’m not training, I’m thinking about training. Although, I enjoy it and can’t seem to get enough, I must admit other parts of my life are being neglected. There are household duties and projects that are not getting completed. I am not as involved as maybe I should be. This comes to no surprise, as I was told by other athletes this would happen. In fact, I warned my family before even starting. Nonetheless, it is an issue that needs attention. This is all compounded by the fact that I’ve had to get a couple part time jobs (not because of training costs - thank you Tri Fitness). So, I am just plain busy.

4. I have gained direction and a path.

Ironman Wisconsin is nine months from now. I am not yet used to the fact that it takes nine months to prepare for. I just cannot see that light at the end of the tunnel. I approached Vicki and told her I needed some short term goals - some races. Ask and you shall receive. In short order, she created a plan that consisted of 5-6 races - all of which strategically served two purposes: Better prepare me for Ironman and gives me those short term goals that I need. Genius.

It's the start of another year. It seems to be the perfect time to reflect on the past 12 months. What did you gain in 2019? What did you lose? Or another way to ask it: What do you hope to gain in 2020? What do you hope to lose? Take a few minutes and give it some real thought.

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