Sunday, December 18, 2005

It's just another triathlon

Brian put it into words much better than I could.

Ironman is just a triathlon. A long one, to be sure. Easier for some who are blessed with natural endurance, and harder for others who are not. The finish line is not a confirmation that you're a superior person. It's not achieving nirvana. It's not being named to the Supreme Court, or being knighted, or receiving a cardinal's hat. It doesn't make you a Nice Person or even one worthy of a huge amount of respect and admiration. It doesn't earn you a million dollars or a place among the stars. It's not a validation of your existence here on this earth.

It's not even essential for becoming a "Real Triathlete", whatever that is. It may be your own personal Mt. Everest, but you know what? It's not really climbing Mt. Everest (that is, at least not until ~50,000 people are summiting Everest every year). It's not discovering a cure for cancer, and it's not saving people from burning buildings, either.

It's a long triathlon that earns you a $5 medal at the finish line and the title "Ironman". That's pretty much IT!

That's enough for me! And if I cross that finish line next November, along with a couple thousand other folks, I'll thank the volunteers for being out there all day for us, and I'll be pleased and thankful that I was able to become fit enough to do it, and grateful that the support of my husband gave me enough free time (and financial wherewithal) to accomplish it. And then I'll be off to some other project and some other race.

But in the meantime, my readers are going to be slogging through the ten months of self-obsessed training that it will take to get this lazy old carcass ready for the starting line. Thanks for coming along for the ride!

If, after this year is done, and I achieve my goal, and I casually mention at a cocktail party that "By the way, did I happen to mention I'm an Ironman?" you all have permission to slap me.


Keryn said...

Hey...I think you have shown that you have amazing'll be fine. :)

nancytoby said...

Thanks! I wish it were natural - but I'm definitely genetically suited to be a Clydesdale, built for strength and power, but NOT for long distances! I should have picked a sport I could actually be good at, huh!? :-)

tri-mama said...

I am so glad you posted this-I'm reading a book about Ironman finishers and I just don't see myself in the some of the stories-For me this isn't about changing who I am, (with the exception of there just being less of me :) it's about going out and having fun doing a really long race.-although when I checked my visa statement I'm pretty sure the medal cost me $425.00.

nancytoby said...

Tri-mama, you *always* crack me up. I'm so looking forward to meeting you!!!

Fe-lady said...

I have been wanting to say that for a LONG time...and put it at the end of the 50 things about me. It's just a race and there will ALWAYS be races and challenges! Thanks Nancy for telling it like it should be told!

Downhillnut said...

Doesn't matter what you say, when I introduce you to all my friends I'll still say "This is my friend Nancy. She's the one I told you about; the one with two little girls, who did an Ironman?"

nancytoby said...

LOL! It's okay if YOU say it. As long as I do it first. :-)

Nytro said...

love this post. i prefer to think of it as another triathLONG.

and if you want to brag about being an Ironman... hey, i won't get in your way. i'm still living on high school volleyball glory days. at least yours is current and is an actualy bragging point.

TriFeist said...

Good luck with your training Nancy. I would argue that the process of training and completing an ironman makes it quite a big deal.

Bolder said...

don't agree.

saying an ironman distance race is just another triathlon, is like saying climbing Mt. Everest is like walking to Starbucks... anyone can do it on any weekend.

if it's just so the same, then why does it take a year of preperation and sacrifice for the average mortal?

it's always dangerous to generalize, and i think Brian's comments are generalizing... although he's entitled to his opinion. and so are you Nancy, even though you have a different spin on it.

ironman is my life right now... sad, but true.

some people don't understand that a 'magical happy wonderland filled with transcendental experiences all at the lacing of a shoe-lace' is what ironman is for some people.

personally, I think it would be sad, that at the end of an Ironman race, the only interspection I would have is I got a $5 medal. that's all i learned about myself? i've learned more than that already in Week 6 of training.

Brian -- get over yourself. Don't rain on other people's parades. And, don't read my blog because it will nauseate you ad infinitem.

by the way, I think I remember now what I don't read his.

nancytoby said...

I hear you! I might have gotten a bit over-the-top on that rant myself. :-)

Not that I ever RANT or anything....!!

Part of it is talking to myself and saying, "What makes you think this IM stuff is so freakin' hard? TONS of people do it!!"

Bolder said...

i think i got over the top...

shout out to Brian... i hear you... but, I don't care dude, I'm still all impressed that you did it...

you are iron in my books.