WHY IN THE WORLD WOULD YOU WANT TO DO AN IRONMAN??
If you're an Ironman triathlete, I would bet a bundle of cash that you have heard this question. Be a 46 year old female who was morbidly obese and now is considered "borderline obese" ...you get the question almost daily.
Why AM I doing this?? Wouldn't it be easier to just say..."I lost 200lbs...Im healthy...Im gonna live a few more years." I could lay back down in the morning and get a few more hours of sleep. I could go to more parties, stay out late, eat a little more, have a cocktail, travel more....and the list goes on and on...
Ive been asked the question so much now that I thought I would make a list. Some of the entries are obviously just for fun and some of them are absolutely from my heart. I HIGHLY encourage anyone who reads this blog to add their reasons in my comment section. I wanna know WHY those in this amazing community of athletes (and aspiring athletes) do what you do.
So...in random order...here is the answer to that question:
1. Completing an Ironman is the ending of a season of my life and the beginning of a new one. When I began at 380lbs, I wondered what would happen if I got to the point of being a normal size. How would I feel?? What would my life look like?? I knew in my heart that some major event would mark that moment where I could say- Im here...Im healthy...Im alive. When I cross that finish line, Mike Reilly might say "You are an Ironman" but what he's really saying is "Melissa...you survived!"
2. Because I really LIKE the feeling of spandex!! Who thought a material could stretch THAT FAR!!
3. I am running this race for ever single person who died attempting to save their own life. For every gastric bypass patient who saw this procedure as their only option (Like I did). I am attempting this goal for those who still fight against compulsive overeating and the demons of food. I want them to look and say "Well heck...if she can...I can"
4. Because I enjoy letting the world know how old I am by having my age written on my leg.
5. Sometime on that Ironman Day, I will wear purple and green(the colors of Team in Training) to remind me of every patient who is still fighting a blood cancer or who has lost their battle with Leukemia. My goal is to raise $25,000.00 or more for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. My LIFE goal is to find a cure for cancer...but for now...I want this Ironman to bring awareness to the world that children and adults are dying from this disease. People are losing their kids, their grandkids, their husbands, their wives, their family to a cowardly disease that has no mercy. Every dime brings us closer to a cure and to hope for those in the fight.
6. Because Neoprene isn't just for scuba diving anymore (but please don't tell my boss at Disney who controls my scuba diving job that). Ohhh...and its SLIMMING!!
7. Because riding my bike the distance that most people would use their car for just seems to make sense!!
8. Because I love the smell of my newest cologne...its called...Chlorine...
9. Because I have a devoted and loving husband who loves me enough to take care of me, be my support crew, cheerleading squad, chef, and therapist!! Without him, there would be no Ironman.
10. Because I had a great FIRST triathlon coach/training partner named Rick Stafford who told me: yeah...you can do a sprint...and then told me...YES...you can do an Olympic....and then a Half Ironman...and then...well...here we are!!
11. Because I had a set of determined TNT running coaches named Beth and Bill who got me past the fear of running 26.2 miles.
12. Because 2 years ago, I met a deeply dedicated triathlon coach named Hector who assured me he would help get me to the finish line.
13. Because I have the most loyal group of friends who continue to support me in this quest...even when I didn't complete the first attempt!! Every single one of them will return on November 7th to cheer me on AGAIN. Now that is something else!!!
13. And of course...the most obvious reason Im running an Ironman...the one that is the biggest reason of all....Because now...I can!! :)