Monday, February 27, 2012

Iron Redefined

The Ironman journey has helped many believe and accomplish things they never thought possible; unfortunately for me, it has caused me to spend more than I earn, made me extremely competitive and lose sight of the value of my decisions.

I'm glad for the timely wake up call to take a step back to reevaluate why I participate in the Ironman in the first place (was it purely for my own selfish gain, or was it for a larger cause?), and how I can be a better steward of my time, money and body.

During the three months I was in California, I encountered and befriended a bunch of incredible cyclists whose love for the great outdoors, warm hospitality to new riders, and extreme kindness to fellow riders humble me so. Their way of life embodies the true essence of sports and fitness - sporting for the well being of the body, mind and soul, and building great relationships and community.

I dug deep into my soul and am ashamed to find that I've tipped off the scale of true sporting pursuit. I was selfish, competitive, edgy, obsessive and reckless.

Remorse calls for radical action. And I did. I withdrew from a race I prepared many months for, with single minded focus - the Ironman Melbourne due to take place on 25 March 2012.

I lost a little of myself with my withdrawal from the race, but I'm certain what I'd gain in return would be so much more.

The return came very quickly. To my surprise, now that I'm off a demanding agenda as the Ironman, I'm running better timing than I did before, swimming happier and riding more efficiently. I am not ruled or boxed in by an obsessive need to keep to a strict training regime, and am liberated to take off to spend time with my family, without guilt.

In fact, the past two weeks spent with my family was the best I ever had and remembered in all my years. It's incredibly satisfying, the sacrifice made for quality family time - after all, we are nothing without our family; we are whole and complete, when rested and built upon the foundation of love found in family.

These said, I'm not a quitter, because I don't know how to. I hustle for what I believe in, for what I'm worth. This withdrawal from an important race is not the end of me, neither is it the end of my sporting pursuit.

I'm realigning my values and redefining my goals. And I'm making progress. Stand with me, believe with me - glorious days lie ahead.

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