Saturday, September 5, 2009

The Bucket List

Why Ironman has become an emotional journey for me is a mystery. For most, this is a physical challenge with which they possess great talent to complete and acheive. I am not blessed in that department, I am sad to admit. It seems I must work harder than most to gain the goals I set before myself.

Now don't think Im gonna sit here and whine about my lack of ability. Although it frustrates me at times, my lack of talent in the area of triathlon makes it more appealing. I know that work and time put in will pay off in the end. I know a few people that can just simply show up for the event and complete it. Others will train extremely hard and gain a magical Kona slot and be part of Ironman history while there are many like me who just wish to hear the six worded sentence once in their lives at the finish line...."Melissa are an Ironman" would be my early Christmas present.

This is a desire that can not be purchased. This is a gift that can not be given to me by anyone but myself. The more I train and the more I ponder this journey, I realize that I have to make the decision if I am worthy of this gift. Too many times in my life, I have considered myself unworthy of an acheviement and have fallen short. The use of addiction to food is a perfect example of this. For years, I thought myself unworthy of a healthy body. It has taken almost 11 years now to realize, I am a good person that valid enough for this gift.

After a relaxing and glorious day off with my husband and friends here in Panama City, I made the realization it is one of the first rest days that I fully enjoyed without guilt. I found myself worthy of the rest. I have pushed hard this week and as we approach the 60 day mark prior to the race, I will want to take the last month and put in as much training as possible.

I was flipping through channels tonight and came upon the movie, The Bucket List. I have always wanted to watch this movie but never got around to it. I caught the pivital last few minutes of the movie that were overflowing with emotion. In the movie, two men meet in the hospital where they both find out they are battling terminal cancer. One gentleman makes a list of things he would like to acheive before he dies and they decide to band together to accomplish this list before they "kick the bucket".

I was overwhelmed with emotion as I watched the end of this movie. I don't believe it was simply watching someone at the end of their life that plucked my heart strings but the passion in which they wanted to acheive each goal on their list. The movie touched a cord. It touched on the passion that has become Ironman.

I walked outside the balcony of our condo and looked out over the water and then down on the hundreds of people still enjoying the sand and surf as the sun slipped into the sea. I cried...alot. I guess the emotion of the movie reminded me that Ironman is on the top of my bucket list and I am very scared of failure. What if I don't finish this AGAIN? Thank you God I am not battling cancer and I am healthy enough to regroup and try for it again...but oh God...mentally...could I possibly endure another year of training for this???

The power of positive thinking is a strong piece of armorment I am trying every day to put into my arsonal. I am trying every day to invision the complettion of this goal. In my mind, I go through each step of the race. I SEE myself accomplishing this goal and imprinting that "program" or that "movie" on my brain. This technique has worked for many professional athlete to the point some have said that once they reached a point in the race where they made their move, they had chills of "dejavu" from the feeling of having been to this place before. I see this as training that is just as important as the swim, bike, run or the nutrition of the race.

My Bucket List is a long one that includes everything from learning how to fly to seeing the Great Barrier Reef...but for now...the one item on top of that list that needs to be marked off in 61 days is Ironman....



Don't burn yourself out (or get hurt). Your focusing on the bike is the way to go if you have mentally worked out the combo of jogging and power walking.

Keep on keeping on.

Markus said...

2 Points:
1. Why do you always write about doing the IM "once" rather than considering it as an ongoing effort from one year to the other?
Have a look at Dirk Bockel's talk about the ultimate intention statement...

marta said...

Do you have any idea how many people are pulling for you? I happened upon your blog last year when I was looking for info on IM Florida. It was my first IM and I was freaking out. Reading about your struggles and doubts made me feel I was not alone and it was a neat surprise to see you honored at the pr-race dinner. After completing the race, one of the first things I did after getting home was to check your result. I was heartbroken for you, but proud you were going to try again. I too will be back and am nervous all over again. Please know I am pulling for you and the struggles will make your victory all the sweeter.