Self-centered sport?

This post is rated Ironman.

I write this post with a bit of a heavy heart. I have had to learn the hard way that Ironman training and racing is NOT about me.

There is no doubt that our sport requires a tremendous (perhaps ridiculous) amount of time, energy, discipline and dedication. For my first Ironman event, I trained consistently at 20 hours per week for 3 months. I went to bed early on weekends and woke up well before the sun even thought about rising. The mere thought of swimming 2.4 miles, cycling 112 miles and running 26.2 miles scared me into my daily motion. Although preparation is essential it is also extremely important to not lose touch with the world around you. If its anything that I have learned over the years is the maintaining a proper perspective will save your relationships.


It is only by grace that have been able to accomplish my track record over the last 7 years. I have been fortunate enough to compete in Ironman events on 4 continents and having my beautiful bride accompany me. The first one in particular was a near disaster and almost wrecked my engagement. We were in Lake Taupo, New Zealand for Ironman New Zealand just 2 months before our wedding. Let’s just say that I allowed my nerves and anxiety to dominate our time in one of the most beautiful areas of the world. Why?? I was focusing on none other than myself.

Are you preparing for your first Ironman event in 2014? Have you reached the point of physical or mental exhaustion? Keep in mind that you are no good to anyone when you operate with this mindset. You are on your way to one of the most rewarding accomplishments that life has to offer. In fact, I would like to encourage you by saying that as long as you stay consistent in your training that “YOU WILL BE AN IRONMAN IN 2014!”

As sweet as this sounds, let me also encourage you to remember that you cannot get there on your own. Your journey to Ironman in 2014 is not about you…

Ironman Lake Placid swim start

Ironman Lake Placid swim start

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

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  1. Good article Bo and congratulations on your success. We all know it takes discipline to succeed in this wonderful sport, however we all learn it is also about balance. I encourage all to commit 100% to every workout and find purpose in that workout and if you don’t have a purpose then you probably shouldn’t have done it just for the sake of wasting time. Once done with the workout find your way back to civilian life and commit yourself to those who support you every day. I often think of those who cannot workout and commit myself to those a.k.a “fitness for a higher calling”. Keep up the great posts, I’ve known you for years and you are a success story and an inspiration for all. See you on the road sometime. Marshall Martin

    • Marshall, you may or may not have known this, BUT you are one of the few that provided inspiration from the very beginning for me to impart on this journey of Ironman. I have so much respect for you as an athlete, husband, father and all-around GREAT person. You epitomize selflessness and I am very lucky to call you a friend in the truest sense of the word. You pushed me beyond my limits from the beginning and my progress and accomplishments to this day have a lot to do with your interest in me when I was nothing….THANK YOU FROM THE BOTTOM OF MY HEART MARSHALL!