The Promises of Ironman

I write this just 40 days from my Ironman Triathlon in Madison, WI. Approximately 320 days ago, I committed to this journey.  There have certainly been highs and lows. Throughout this journey, I have enjoyed the discipline of following a focused training plan. I’ve relished pushing myself beyond what I thought were my limits. My current fitness level reflects measurable improvements. I love the fact that at age 63, my body can do things that it couldn’t do when I was 33. On the flipside, I’ve spent countless hours alone and the next few weeks will demand even more. I’ve spend a good deal of money for race fees, hotels, training opportunities, special nutrition and equipment upgrades. I’ve had training setbacks, minor injuries and sometimes the training just plain hurts. Out of necessity, I’m frequently in my own little world; my friend calls this my bubble. As the race draws near, I’m excited. I’m anxious. I’m scared. I have family members and friends who will travel to Madison to share this day with me. I want them to know that I appreciate their desire to spend 17 hours cheering me on, but I need them to understand these facts. I cannot promise an emotional happy finish line. As badly as I want this, I cannot promise that you’ll hear the announcer say, “Cindy Erickson – You Are an Ironman!” I can’t promise you that I’ll make the cut-off times for the swim, the bike or the run. What I can promise is that I have put in the work. I have done everything possible to be ready for this challenge. And I can promise you that as long as the timing chip is strapped to my ankle, I will move forward, one stroke, one pedal or one step at a time. There is only one guarantee in an Ironman Triathlon, and that is that the day will not go perfectly as you planned. How well an athlete can adapt to that will make the difference between success and failure. I am grateful for all the love and support I received during this past year of preparation. So whether you will be with me in Madison on September 11 or following me from home, I hope you will celebrate this culmination of hard work and focused effort.

Ironman Wisconsin, here I come.

Written by Cynthia Erickson, 2016 Fitness Ambassador