As I build this blog, I check back over it every few days or so to see how it fits together and how I can improve, build and just generally mess around with it. It’s a little project.
It occurred to me, whilst re-reading my posts and chatting to friends about things, that though I’ve shown why I started the blog, I haven’t mentioned why I’m doing the event itself.
The easiest answer would be “it’s a crazy challenge so I want to do it”, but it’s not the full one. There are various reasons why I’ve picked something that, at the time of said picking, was out of reach.
You need goals in life, and that’s that. Even if you haven’t consciously acknowledged them, ask yourself certain questions and you’ll see you have some. Are you saving money, as so many people are, and if so, for what? That’s a goal. Are you fundraising for charity for something close to your heart? That’s one, too. Are you working to complete a uni project or looking to lose some weight? You guessed it. Goals again.
Objectives are important because they give your life focus; you set your mind to meeting the goal itself or ‘checkpoints’ along the way and you become more disciplined for doing so. They’re important because when you achieve something you’ve worked for, it’s inherently more satisfying than if it had been given to you. You value and appreciate your achievement more because it is an achievement, rather than a gift.
Challenges are addictive, because you push your limits and discover what you can really do. One seemingly insurmountable challenge falls before you and almost inevitably leads to another. The parkrun events are amazing for this and are a great example – people can go along and walk the 5km course if they want, something they may never otherwise do, and chances are they will go forward from there; jogging the same route, running it, signing up to a fun run, you name it. The Great North Run, a huge half marathon local to me (tens of thousands of runners take part every year), is filled with stories of people challenging themselves. The people truly pushing themselves and looking an enormous challenge straight in the face are legion when compared to the club runners looking for a PB.
The honest answer.
The real reason that I’m doing the Ironman is because it’s something that is out of my comfort zone. Without hubris, I can run a half marathon comfortably, the same way that other people can do marathons day in, day out and some can do the 100m in under 11 seconds. Sometimes you can just do something, and that’s where the fun begins to stop. Comfort zones suck.
I’m deliberately putting myself in the situation where I’m a first-timer rather than a repeater. It’s what everyone should do, in my opinion; push the boat out and do something that makes you nervous. It’s one of the most invigorating things you’ll do and among the most rewarding.
Take a leap. You won’t regret it.