By Dawn Elder
When I started the Ironman journey, I never took into account what that would really mean. Now, sidelined with injury, I am forced to consider all. Of course I thought about the obvious. How do I do "life" and train? I am a mother of 3, wife, president, and personal trainer. I recognized that there would be challenges with regards to "fitting it all in". I assumed that would be hard and frustrating. I knew from having trained for many marathons and several triathlons that the physical training would be hard at times and mentally tough at others. I was prepared for that. I knew there would be times of doubt, frustration, elation and joy. I was ready for the mental rigors of compromised family time or training time. I talked with my family and prepared them as much as possible. This was, after all, Ironman and my ultimate dream.I knew I would learn about myself. I was excited to visit that place within me of sheer determination. I had been there before when training for marathons, a half ironman and my black belt. I was ready to demonstrate my perseverance and commitment. I was ready for the times I "just didn't feel like it" and trained anyway. This was, after all, Ironman and my dream.My training was taking off. I had never felt stronger. I was making bigger strides than I ever had. I was stronger and faster than I had imagined myself ever being. My family was on board and going with the flow. The children's school and administration was accepting if not perplexed by my motivation to do the Presidency as well as train. My races had been chosen and all training was fitting, leading to the next step. The plan was taking shape. I was progressing marvelously and certain of success. This was, after all, Ironman and my consummate dream.
Then it happened. I got injured. Not a little injury that can be run through. Not a little bump in the road. One that rears it's ugly head and says "SIT DOWN" (mostly because there isn't another option). This is one that unmistakably says there is more to this than what I thought. This says you must go deeper and consider more about yourself. This is a road to self discovery unlike any other. This is, after all, Ironman and not to be taken lightly.I now know that this journey is about so much more and that I am going to places I could not have imagined. At first I thought this would be over in a few days. They always did before, but this is Ironman. Off my leg for several days, I have begun to ask some bigger questions. How did this happen? What does it mean? Where do I go. While I don't have all the answers...in fact very few, I realize that more is going on. I am on a brand new path of self discovery. This is, after all, Ironman.Now I get to find out how I want to be. How am I defined? Who do I want to become in this process. This is more about realizing what my fears are before the race. My fear is that I won't be able to realize my potential. My fear is that I will fall short. My fear is that factors beyond my control will prohibit me from my goal. My fear is that my mind won't be strong enough. This is, after all, Ironman.I have learned that it is not about the mind out witting the body. It is about the concert of the mind and the body. One without the other will not be effective or efficient. I am having the opportunity to orchestrate the concert. Appreciating and harnessing the power of both. An injured body will not work with the determined mind, I am discovering. The result can be a downward spiral of doubt and frustration. Likewise, the fearful mind will not make the willing body go at potential. The result can be a downward spiral of frustration and pain. When the body and mind work together much can be accomplished - even in injury. This is the time that the soul takes over and begins training. This is, after all, Ironman.
martial arts, training, eating, shopping, girl stuff and training like a maniac. Total endorphin addict