Sometimes I feel like a Nike commercial, with a blood pushing soundtrack in the background and profiled in soft lights. Sometimes I feel like I stand at a precipice, ready for what comes and what is entailed. The icon, the ediface, the athletic form. Sometimes I feel like I am uniquely qualified, by some grace of past decisions and stubborn motivation. And sometimes I feel like I may have the power to inspire myself and make me so much more than I was before.
This, is that sometime.
I chose late last year to try something entirely out of my comfort zone, and entirely gratuitous. I don't need to do an Ironman distance. Being a triathlete and healthy alone would be fine. But there has always been that persistent voice inside my thoughts that wants me to push even further. I want to know whether or not I can do something exceptional. To push just a little more. Could it be self-defeating? Could I be setting myself up for a simple confirmation of mediocrity? Perhaps. When I was younger, I would certainly have seen that road as the least painful and followed it, laden with guilt. I would have craftily explained away my averageness and carried it as a stone in my shoe, a hidden hair shirt under a well-dressed facade.
That is not me anymore. And I know that with certainty. I know that with the same certainty that I know I love Mighty M. I know that with the certainty that I know I will never sabotage my life again with distrust and fatalism.
I just know it. Clearly and with inherent resolve. It's just there, as a reality.
So I signed up for the race, and then basked in the glow of "You're doing an Ironman?" "No way! How cool!" I did the planning and found the training schedule right for me. And when the time came, I started training. And I've had the bumps in the road and moments of checking my own motivations and behaviors. Falls and injuries and set-backs and successes.
And I have simply loved every second.
The snarky lady in the pool. The personal best runs and the personal vendettas against cycling drills. Those wonderful moments where new habits surprised me with power and control. And those truly excellent moments of clarity.
And now, I'm there again. Cue the Nike background music. Cue lights, camera, and ACTION.
If you're an endurance athlete, you know the power of 20 weeks. In 20 weeks, you can prepare for a marathon. In 20 weeks, you can sculpt an ultra-distance out of a lump of base building runs. In 20 weeks, you can craft an Ironman. And that, of course, is exactly what I'm going to do.
Twenty weeks is a check point in training that may seem arbitrary, but it's not. It provides just the right amount of time to build a better you. Just enough time to take your skills and traits and strengths and craft something exceptional.
I've put in my base, I'm building as we speak, and I'm feeling quietly prepared for the volume and effort. And yes, sometimes I feel incredibly scared. Shaking in my boots scared. Of limitations and sheer distance and limiters.
But, this is a different sometime. Right now I just feel ready.