Wednesday, October 01, 2008

It All Becomes Clear

I have come to the conclusion that there is not too much in life that a good 20 mile run can’t fix. Make that a 20 mile run in the fall…when it’s cool, but not cold. The air is crisp, but not dry. The sun rises and shines brightly, but it does not scorch. The wind swirls, but it does not rage against your momentum.

It is a great day to be alive.

In the course of the 3 hours and 3 minutes it took me to cover 20 miles on foot this morning, I resolved the past 3 to 4 weeks of aimless wandering and struggling to find purpose in the many miles I’ve volunteered to put my body through. I miraculously regained the focus and zoned clearly in on the goal. I saw it. I fixed my eyes on it, and I remembered why this was such a worthy goal in the first place.

Ironman is not some current line item being checked off of my Bucket List. I’m not “doin’ it to say I did.” I’m not doing it for the M-dot ink. I’m not doing it for your recognition or acceptance. I’m not even trying to inspire you; or my kids.

You really want to know why I’m out there? Why I chose to go all in, to bet it all and sign my 2008 life away to a one-day event that happens to fall on November 1st, 2008? Why I get up at 3 a.m. and run in the dark, and why I drop the kids off at school and ride my bike until it’s time to pick them up again, and why I slip back out of the house at 8 p.m. to get the swim in before bedtime?

Because I have learned that if you don’t actively take a stand against it, the nature of the world will ever so slightly dull your senses, soften your will, and limit your amazing, natural born capacity. It will lie to you. It will beat you down. You will forget who you are, and at the time you least expect it, it will throw you a curve it knows you won’t be able to hit. You won’t see the beauty of the sunrise because you’ll be asleep. You won’t feel the stillness of night because you’ll be engrossed in reality T.V. You’ll opt out of that game of tag with the little one because you can’t catch your breath. You won’t take a risk, because you might fail. You won’t enter the event because you might not win. You won’t consider the unthinkable because You. Are. Just. Average. You will lose the magnificence and beauty, the combination of uniqueness and grandeur that The Creator formed you with in His. Own. Image. You will walk the rest of your days on the Earth wondering who you are and why you are here. You will stand on the sidelines and hide from The Coach when you think He’s about to call your number to go in the game. You won’t experience the pain of coming up one second short, but you also won’t feel the exhilaration of coming back against all odds. You might not get knocked down or skinned up, but you won’t know the gratification of pulling yourself back up and finishing with respect. You won’t ever know what you could’ve done or who you could’ve been.

I knew that the journey to Ironman would strip me of the unnecessary baggage I clutter my life with, and it would get all up in my face to show me again who I really am. I knew that it would force me to shut-up for once, to stop complaining and stop making excuses and just watch, listen, and learn. Somewhere, amidst the neurons in my subconscious, I knew that I would be left with no other choice but to accept that

“I AM FEARFULLY AND WONDERFULLY MADE.” ¹

Whatever it takes, that I may be able to spend my days on this earth in celebration and appreciation of this truth, I will do it.

Ironman, you’re mine.


¹Psalm 139:14(NIV): I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.

25 comments:

Spandex King said...

I love it. I don't think I could add a thing.

D10 said...

Perfectly said.

There is no stopping you now.

triguyjt said...

never heard it put any better!!!!

i will always remember oct first and your blog...and will return to it on occasion for inspiration...

great great stuff....
one month to go because you dared to stand out.... to be......... YOU

Lauren said...

What a fantabulous post. I can't wait to see you cross the finish line (Yeah, I'm on Finish Line duty for IMFL Vols!)

Darrell said...

Awesome!

Ryan said...

I am going to "steal" this post and use it some time down the line. Perfectly written.

Oh, I'll give you credit, don't worry.

Flatman said...

Perfect. Thanks!

Tim said...

Body ready - check
Mind ready - check for sure!
IMFL - soon to be check

You go get em Lana!

Eric said...

You'll do awesome!!! :-)

Marathoner in Training said...

This is one of the masterpeaces. Great Job

Deana said...

Okay I have been 'stalking' your blog for a very long time and your journey to Ironman is very inspirational. This post is awesome!!! Makes me say shut up Deana when I think I am not motivated in what little things I am doing. Best of luck to you!!!!
Deana Crosslin

Anonymous said...

You nailed it with this post. All that training for one day in NOV., BUT a lifetime of pride and bragging rights that comes with the finish. See you there.

monicac2 said...

Great, great post! You're going to do so well!

Missy said...

While I don't know exactly who I will become after all of this is over, I do know that who I am right now is me, and that is TIRED AND HUNGRY. I am excited for 11/1 and for 11/2 all at the same time!

J~Mom said...

Beautiful!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Thank you for that!

kmholt7 said...

October 6....Happy Birthday Lana!

Betsy said...

Beautiful. Congratulations on making such an amazing choice for yourself.

Kolla said...

I wish you the very best of races come November 1st.
I'll be one of the volunteers on the course, cheering you on (and trying to figure out if this is something I should take on next year, or if it is complete insanity!).

enjoy the journey.

Marathon Maritza said...

Thank you for sharing this post. It was wonderful and breathtaking, yet so simple and so true.

For how tough it really is to get up so freakin' early (and I even get 1 more hour than you do) I have to say, I've NEVER not appreciated the sunrises I have seen. Thank you for pointing the beauty of running out so perfectly.

Gailanne said...

Thank you for posting this. I am definitely going to print this out and post it next to my calendar as I work towards my first 100 Mile Run next spring. I will also share it with others. We are definitely a special bunch of people - we have that talent for balancing our lives while striving for personal excellence.

Good Luck in Florida!

Lindy said...

I can't really add anything more than what's been written here, so consider this comment an acknowledgment and nod from another unknown blogger in the universe. You write wonderfully, and your story is inspiring.

Tater said...

Thank you. Beautifully said. I am looking forward to the half Ironman next April in New Orleans.

I will be at IM Florida cheering on a friend who is racing so I will send great thoughts your way also.

Thanks again for your post!

Beth "Tater"

David L Smith Photography said...

This was one of the most inspiring things I've read in a good while.
Glad I found your blog.

drew said...

Found this the other day and had to comment on how perfectly your words illustrated many of the things I've been thinking about lately.

Hope this weekend gives you everything you've worked so hard for.

Marci said...

I am bookmarking this post, it was inspiring and wonderfully written. Thanks for this post and great blog.