It's TIME. Like NOW. Do It
Nine years ago I wrote a goal down in a big blue collins note book. No dates, just lines ruled on a page. I was challenged by a business coach at the time to write down 100 dreams that I wanted to achieve in my life. At the very, very top of the list was to do an Ironman Triathlon. Second was to ride a bike across (not around) Australia. I certainly covered those two over the past few years in more ways then one. There were other things on there also like driving an F1 car at Monaco and owning a yacht, but things and more importantly people change right? I'm not that guy anymore. At number 10 on that list was to compete at the Ironman World Championships in Hawaii and I’ve never lost that book nor forgotten that goal. There are a few things that I’ve achieved that I can honestly say I’m proud of but there’s some unfinished business on that list and it’s time to take action towards it.
Sometimes we look at what others do and dream that we could one day be the same. Sometimes we think that what they’re doing is probably impossible for us and times, every now and then we think FUCK THIS, I can do that too. There's nearly a type of anger that boils up inside us and we feel that energy come to the surface and the need for action is realised. In 2017 I had the opportunity to stand at the finish line in a VIP area and welcome home one of my best mates after he finished that very race, the Ironman World Championships, his exact words to me at the time were, mate I have nothing more to give, there’s nothing left. The perfect comment in a race he didn't win and all things weather conspire to derail the perfect day. It was then and there that I decided I could get it done. The Hawaiian island of Kona (The Big Island) has an unrelenting and unpredictable climate. The island is separated by a huge volcano and this tends to cause a majority of the weather issues where a day starting off at a comfortable temperature can either turn into a furnace without cloud cover and temperatures hitting 40 degrees or a cloud covered hot soup with 90% plus humidity and 80kmh head winds on the bike. It certainly is one of the more inhospitable places on the planet to hold an Ironman event or indeed any sporting pursuit. The history of the race is full of stories of near death, physical and mental meltdown but above all else stories of how athletes dug to places they never thought they had to overcome the obstacles of the day. This is what I love, this is what I want and this is what I'll do. I've always wanted to be tested to the limits and I believe this event offers this for me.
So here it is. The biggest goal I’ve ever attempted. For me the goal that I’ve always thought of to put me to sleep at night when I wasn’t healthy, wasn’t happy or was even a sad drunk trying to forget the world. The goal that makes the hair stand up on my arms and the place where as soon as I arrived in 2017 I felt welcome, it felt right and I felt I belonged. In 2019 I will complete the Ironman World Championships. I have no aspirations of winning my age group, in fact I couldn’t even care who did, my only goal is to finish knowing that I myself have nothing left. Nothing, no stone unturned on the way, nothing missed through the preparation. I will finish this event knowing that that is the best version of myself on that given day and there is "nothing left".
I’m always petty public about my goals and yes it’s true I haven’t always hit the targets I’ve set. I have previously set a goal to compete at Ultraman Australia in 2019 but at this stage I am going to solely focus on my dream of Ironman World Championships so will be putting the Ultraman goal on ice while I focus on getting as fast as possible over the Ironman distance. For me there is certainly unfinished business with Ultraman and I look forward to settling that in the years to come. I always have and will continue to share my goals. There’s two reasons. Number 1 I’ve always found that sharing as much as I can has helped in a huge way to help others. It’s always a motivation of mine to have others join in on their own journey, do something they’ve never done or change the direction they’re own life is traveling. The second reason for me is probably more of a selfish reason and I’m fine with that. Accountability for me is huge. The more people that know where I’m at and where I intend on going the better. The more people looking out for me, helping me and just simply knowing what I'm trying to achieve the better.
So with any goal there’s a few key markers to understand before kicking off and ripping into it.
The first is to acknowledge where you’re at right now, for me I’m actually pretty fit if you look at general fitness. Pretty fit to ride a bike well but I have not run at all over the last 6 months and my swimming has been just as neglected as I’ve focused on dropping some serious weight before launching my body into what is to follow over the coming year. Acknowledgement of where you are now simply helps to set the path ahead. For example in three days time I start to run again but the process will be slow and methodical and start simply with running for 2 minutes through a one hour walk.
Secondly it’s important to have a journey towards the goal mapped out. For me this is really clear. There’ll be a return to triathlon (after a two year hiatus) in early 2019 leading into Cairns Ironman in June. This is the qualifying race for Kona and to be clear this is where the magic will need to happen. Early in June 2019 will see me at my peak fitness to have the best race I possibly can. There is a very limited amount of qualifying spots for the World Championships in mid October 2019 and athletes from all over Australia will be competing for the same 6-8 places on the big island as me.
There’s no fall back plan at this stage and I don’t plan on having one. I’m all in and will see where the cards fall.
My challenge to you is this. What is the dream that keeps you awake? the goal that you see others complete and think maybe one day? Write it down if you haven't already. Make a step towards it NOW. Make it public with your friends, family, close mates or even the world. I'd love to hear about it.
I’m going to continue to post about the journey, both the ups and downs and I look forward to hearing what you have on planning for yourself.
Let’s make it happen