Tri-ing Life

by Lance Ekum on · 80 comments

Triathlon, Sterling State Park, Monroe, MI
Creative Commons License photo credit: mmeiser2

"My will shall shape the future. Whether I fail or succeed shall be no man's doing but my own. I am the force; I can clear any obstacle before me or I can be lost in the maze. My choice; my responsibility; win or lose, only I hold the key to my destiny." ~ Elaine Maxwell

Body marking.  Elites and beginners.  Transitions.  Running shoes.  Wetsuits.  Waves.

Swim.  Bike.  Run.

Life…and Triathlons

Preparation, and Life

"Success must be felt within before it can be seen on the outside." ~ Unknown

The sport of triathlon involves three different sports, all combined during one race.  Swimming, biking, running.  To find success in this sport takes practice and dedication.  And this all begins with the mental preparation in order to succeed at the physical challenges.  Being excellent in only one of these three sports isn't going to win the race for you.  Life Lesson:  In life, we have many things we do.   Those things are "won", those things are improved in the dark hours when no ones watching.  It's that time out there, when everyone else is sleeping, watching television, going "through the motions" – that you become who you truly can be.  It's in how well we're preparing ourselves – in body, mind, and spirit.

The Swim, and Life

The swim portion of triathlon is the most challenging part of the race for me.  I consider myself a mediocre swimmer, at best.  And even with practice time in a local pool, I still find this to be the most difficult portion of the race. 

  • During the first triathlon this summer, a tragic event happened.  One swimmer, new to the sport, died of a heart attack while swimming.  This was a very sad moment to what was an otherwise wonderful day.  Life Lesson:  Life is short.  And we never know when our time will be up here on earth. Seize the moments in your life that give you much meaning.  Live each day to the fullest.
  • During the first triathlon, I was challenged in getting a rhythm that worked for me, slowing me down, and causing me to revert to different swim strokes in an effort to get a normal pace going.  In the second triathlon, I focused on keeping myself calm to start with, and it all went much smoother.  Life Lesson:  Sometimes in life, as much as we prepare – things don't always go as planned.  And when that happens, we can make adjustments.  Change for the sake of improvement.  And then when we find something that works, use that as the barometer of how to do this in the future.

Transition, and Life

Between each event, there is what is called "transition".  This is the place where you switch from swimming to biking, and then again from biking to running.  Transition is just as the name suggests – a transition from one thing to another.

  • I finish the swim – exhausted, wet, barefoot and shirtless.  And now it's time to find my bike and head out.  Get a drink, put on a shirt, helmet, gloves and shoes.  And go.  Transitioning from one event to the next.  Life Lesson:  This happens in our lives too.  Moments where we have to switch gears, maybe drop one thing and start another. And in these moments, we can sometimes get irritated, frustrated, angry.  Or – we can choose to have an attitude that is filled with abundance.  And in those moments of transition, really let the experience of the moment "be". 
  • I finish the bike – put on running shoes, get some more water, a few bites of a nutrition bar and head out.  Life Lesson: Proper nourishment is important for our growth.  And this is more than just nutritional nourishment to feed our physical bodies.  This is also mental and spiritual nourishment to feed our souls.  Do this – all of this – and you will be on a path of having a body that is fed in so many more ways than just the food we eat. 

The Bike, and Life

 Two wheels, out on the open road.  My favorite portion of the whole event.

  •  Helmet or no helment.  Gloves or no gloves.  Bike shoes or running shoes.  Road bike or mountain bike.  Lots of choices.  Some things are required (like helmets – your head is worth protecting!), some things add a level of comfort (gloves, and bike).  Some things improve performance (bike shoes and bike type).  Life lesson:  In life, you'll have decisions to make.  Some will be for your own safety and protection.  Others will provide comfort in your life.  And others will help you improve your performance.  All of these are important decisions, and if you can find some harmony in your life, by giving all of these areas focus – then you've reached a spot that brings the connection of body and soul together.
  • Some parts of the race are just easier than others – based on terrain, personal experience, and preference.  Life Lesson:  In life, too, some things we do will be more enjoyable and fun than others.  That doesn't mean the "not so fun" parts don't have to be done.  Maybe we forge forward ourselves and do them.  Maybe we bring in someone else to do these things (we don't have to go it alone).  In the end, it is all part of the journey, and even in things which hold great meaning for us, there will be moments that aren't our favorites.  And if it does indeed all matter, then we'll find a way to do this too.  And our journey will continue. 

The Run, and Life

 The last leg of the race.  A 5K (3.1 mile) run, after just swimming and running.  The end is near, yet still so far.

  • Some courses are flat (the second triathlon) and some are not (the first triathlon).  Life Lesson:  In life, you'll have some days that are easy, and others that are more difficult.  Through it all, you dig deep in those things that matter – and you'll find within you a way to keep going.  Of those things which matter deeply, the path, no matter how overgrown or scary it seems, is so worth traveling down.  Keep believing in you.  And keep going after all that matters.
  •  Starting to tire, the run can prove challenging after everything else that's taken place.  Life Lesson:  There will be days where we'll feel exhausted.  There will be moments where we'll want to stop.  And in these moments, it's important for us to realize that we have a choice to make.  Is it worth continuing on?  Only YOU can answer that question.  And in these moments, this is when we define what has the greatest meaning to us, and what' s worth fighting for. 

Post Race, and Life

 The finish line.  Completion of the race, what an exhilarating feeling! 

  • Crossing that finish line, coming in at the crowd is cheering you on – what an exciting finish, especially after moments that have been challenging out there on the course.  Life Lesson:  Being out on the course, or being out there in life, doing our thing – this can sometimes be the lonely or less glamorous part of our life.  And then you reach the finish line – you reach that spot you've been striving for – what a place to be at!  And that's one more step along the journey, and one that feels very satisfying. 
  • In the first triathlon, one of the competitors was an 83 year old lady.  Out there with everyone else, competing!  What a shining example of never giving up.  Life Lesson:  There are probably several life lessons we can take from "Agnes" and what she did.  For today – this young (at heart) lady showed that we can do whatever we set our heart to – and we don't have to be limited by what the world tells us the limits are.  Set your own limits, and reach for the stars when no one believes except you.  And be so awesome in it all!  You can!

Tri-ing Life

"Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go." ~ T. S. Eliot

Life is what you make it to be.  It doesn't matter what your social status is, how much money you have, where you've been to, or how successful the world thinks you are.  What matters is that which comes from the inside. What matters is going out into your life, listening to your heart, and trying those things which have deep meaning for you.  Life is full of so many possibilities, for each one of us. 

"Today you are you, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is youer than you." ~ Dr. Seuss
 

Go out into the world today.  Be you.  That deep-down you that is your soul!  Let it shine.  Let YOU shine!

Lance writes stories from his heart, aiming to inspire and motivate, as you align more fully with YOUR true peak. When he's not here, you can find him hanging out with his family, riding a bike, or just generally acting goofy.   Sign up for the Thoughts from the Treehouse newsletter and get additional inspiration in your email inbox!
Lance Ekum
View all posts by Lance Ekum
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{ 80 comments… read them below or add one }

Nadia - Happy Lotus August 11, 2009 at 10:53 am

Hi Lance,

Congratulations on the interview and about the fun, exciting project that is coming up! Woo hoo! 🙂

Thank you so much for sharing all your life lessons learned from biking, running and the swimming. It was all so beautiful and so true. It is so important that people be true to who they are and sometimes the best way to do that is to listen to what our hearts are telling us.

We live in a world where the mind is so valued, that the heart gets ignored. Your heart is your soul and to deny your heart to be heard is such a shame and a waste. Life is precious, time is precious and each person is precious. The problem is we do not see it due to all the junk that gets in the way.

I am so happy that you listen to your heart and shine as you do. That is why all your readers love you! Yay for you! 🙂

One more thing, thank you for linking to a post of mine. I really appreciate it. 🙂
.-= Nadia – Happy Lotus´s Last Fabulous Post ..Make It Happen – Sunday Song for August 9, 2009 =-.

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Tess The Bold Life August 11, 2009 at 10:57 am

Lance,
I can’t believe I’m first! I was on Twitter and there you were:) This is one of your most thought out and well planned posts, right down to the link love.

Athletes are some of the people I admire most in the world. I love going to road races and triathlons just to cheer people on and get inspired. Hmmm maybe I should volunteer. When I first saw the Ironman in Hawaii I was completely blown away. The determination and commitment the people had was something I hadn’t witnessed before.

And when I witnessed my daughter in her first triathlon swimming with her physical challenge again I was blown away, I cried. You are all mirrors for us showing us what is possible.

I love pushing my body beyond it’s limits. Someone told me yesterday if I continue running I’ll need knee replaements. Well so be it! Oh and my last bone scan showed I have the hips of 35 year old. I’m 55! I won’t be falling anytime soon.

So thanks for your inspiring story and being one of my favorite blogging buddies! Your simply the best.
.-= Tess The Bold Life´s Last Fabulous Post ..Do You Dare Be More Loving? =-.

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Stacey Shipman August 11, 2009 at 11:04 am

Everything in life is a lesson, isn’t it? It’s so wonderful when we can see that. It’s these experiences that can help us during challenging times in our lives when we can’t see any options! Congratulations on your triathlons and of course for sharing your experiences and life learning. I haven’t raced in a while, but I’ve been thinking of writing about marathon running and the racing I used to do – I learned so much from all of it. And running is my favorite for so many reasons.

I can’t wait to hear about your project!!

And thanks for the link love 🙂

Stacey

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John August 11, 2009 at 11:13 am

Phenomenal posts Lance! All of the quotes you use are great and the first quote is the one I use as my “about me” on Facebook. This really spoke to me and makes me want to “tri” life right now. I have to share this.

Thanks again!
.-= John´s Last Fabulous Post ..How to Stop Temptations from Becoming Destructive =-.

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Blake August 11, 2009 at 11:19 am

Great post! A lot of life lessons can be learned from triathlons. Always feels great to cross the finish line and get ready for the next one too!
.-= Blake´s Last Fabulous Post ..The Bikini Burger? =-.

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melly August 11, 2009 at 11:24 am

Lance! This post was such a fab one! First, I can’t believe you have run a triathlon let alone a few. Go YOU. I find that so cool. They are the such an intense test of endurance.

I like the section about transitions. They scare me. The in-between. I do really well when I have a focus & something to ‘throw’ all in to. Give me a time for wondering, questioning, and trying to gracefully move into a *new* part. I’m a mess. I find that so weird because I really like doing new things, it is exhilarating. Maybe it is the lack of control that is in a transition (even though in the the other parts I have no control either). Not sure. I hope to walk through those periods with much more panache. Less fearful. More fun.
I’m learning. Also, learning that life is like a long distance race. There is no overnight success. No rushing along. Be comfortable with learning along the way. Ahhh, how I love that (in thought!) 🙂

The other piece that got me was digging deep. I’ve been thinking about that a lot lately. How much we (as peeps) are really capable of vs what we “think” we are capable of. We can do so much if we just free the constraints of limited thinking. Maybe not effortlessly but certainly the ability is there in each of us. That is so inspiring to me.

Thanks for such a truly amazing article. very heartfelt & thorough. you are my triathlon hero! Mr triathlon, go go go!
.-= melly´s Last Fabulous Post ..Embracing the foodie in me: chocolate-covered strawberries =-.

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Tess The Bold Life August 11, 2009 at 11:29 am

OK Lance, I was second. I shouldn’t have been so long winded!
.-= Tess The Bold Life´s Last Fabulous Post ..Do You Dare Be More Loving? =-.

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Jodi at Joy Discovered August 11, 2009 at 1:05 pm

Hi Lance,
Wow, what a great post! This must have taken a lot of work!
I am always very impressed by you triathlete and marathoner types—the mental and physical stamina required to get through the race to completion is bar-none. You are all in the top echelon of society as far as I’m concerned! And now I’m blown away even more because in addition to the stamina required to do the races, you have extracted life lessons from each step along the way, all of which are really profound. Thank you for taking the time to articulate all of these great points! (And thank you for the pingback, too!) Reading your work today was like having a bird’s eye view of you going through a race–how exhillarating! 🙂
.-= Jodi at Joy Discovered´s Last Fabulous Post ..Your Environment =-.

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BunnygotBlog August 11, 2009 at 1:06 pm

What a wonderful article!

You are just amazing. I admire your devotion to sports and love your coaching stories. You have so much compassion in your writing.
Thank you for featuring one of my articles. I am deeply touched by the one you chose.
God Bless and have fun with the interview!!!
.-= BunnygotBlog´s Last Fabulous Post ..I Kicked This Guy In The Bots =-.

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Chris August 11, 2009 at 1:21 pm

Tri = Try. I’ve done several and the clarity, problem-solving, lessons, softness, etc…, that I take away from my workouts and my events are personal and very important to me. This is a very nice and inspiring post.

The swim is tricky for me too. I know this post isn’t about the ins-and-outs of triathlons, but if I methodically count my strokes, I find my way in the pack and am able to relax. Nothing’s worse than hyperventilating in the water with arms and legs all around you!
.-= Chris´s Last Fabulous Post ..Almost Badass =-.

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Evita August 11, 2009 at 2:03 pm

Hi Lance

I have to tell you I have always been amazed by people who do triathlons. That to me is such a mark of hard work and dedication. You know when I think of them I think “I could never do that” or “that could never be me” – but of course it can. I am the only one standing in my way and limiting myself. The thing is, I love swimming and biking – running, not so much. So when I really think about it, it has nothing to do with what is being done, but with the deeper issues here, perhaps even fears, like fear of the unknown, fear of failing? Maybe. Or maybe triathlons are just a symbol in my life to stop limiting oneself without even trying, because the truth is, if I really wanted to do it, of course I can – we all can. But it still comes down to those who really dedicate themselves to this and persevere.

So wonderful analogy here today, what a fresh way of looking at life Lance! Truly an inspiring piece!
.-= Evita´s Last Fabulous Post ..The Human Dream =-.

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Vered - Blogger for Hire August 11, 2009 at 3:50 pm

I really admire the winning combination you have – being a very athletic person and also a person who is very thoughtful, and full of thought. I think it’s great that you work on your body AND on your mind and soul.
.-= Vered – Blogger for Hire´s Last Fabulous Post ..Sin City Pictures =-.

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Avani Mehta August 11, 2009 at 3:52 pm

Lance, this is so inspiring. Beautiful put together as well. I am writing a post which combines life lessons and running together. I hope it turns out as good as this one.

The part about switching gears is the one which got me today. There are so many times I hope for a pause or a smoother transition … but life just keeps hop skip and running .. leaving no space for a breather. You remind me to open my arms and experience life’s abundance.
.-= Avani Mehta´s Last Fabulous Post ..Hold On To Your Dreams =-.

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Sami - Life, Laughs and Lemmings August 11, 2009 at 3:54 pm

Totally love this post Lance. Triathlons are a great metaphor for life. I’ve done a couple myself and actually found the bike leg the most challenging (mostly because I didn’t train as much on the bike on accounts I disliked riding in amongst traffic!).

A story I remembered as I was reading your post was of a good friend of mine who represented Australia in the Olympics for baseball. He told me once that when he was at the gym weight training on his own, he’d push out another couple of reps right at the point where he didn’t think he could do any more. He figured that the guy going for his spot on the team would have stopped right when it got too hard and not pushed through. It served him well because he made the team and won a silver medal. A few metaphors for life in that story too.

Thanks Lance!
.-= Sami – Life, Laughs and Lemmings´s Last Fabulous Post ..Kindness Can Save a Life =-.

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Amy Jewell / Cirklagirl August 11, 2009 at 4:35 pm

Lance,

Congratulations on such a huge achievement… seems to me like it may be old hat for a veteran such as yourself, but something like that would be HUUUUUGE for me! Wow. This was some very inspiring material. I love the bit about Agnes… what a go-getter! I hope that I am that spritely when I am older.

One thing interesting about endurance sports like that is that they really bring us to that point of being tested. What do we do when we are really pushed to the wall says a lot and it certainly says a lot to your character that you would do such a thing. Can’t wait for our interview!
.-= Amy Jewell / Cirklagirl´s Last Fabulous Post ..The Conscious And Subconscious Mind =-.

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Yum Yucky August 11, 2009 at 4:56 pm

I love the “unknown’s” quote on success. That’s exactly how I’m feeling lately. Strong and confident on the inside!

Lance, I gotta come back when it’s quiet to thoughtfully read through the rest. Your posts force me to take my time and consider, and I’m much better for it. But that must be done in quiet. So I’ll be back! (Your such an important part of the blogoshpere!)
.-= Yum Yucky´s Last Fabulous Post ..Taste Test: Lean Cuisine Bacon Alfredo Pizza =-.

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JenX August 11, 2009 at 5:20 pm

i absolutely love this line and it really spoke volumes to me today: in the dark hours when no ones watching…when everyone else is sleeping, watching television, going “through the motions” – that you become who you truly can be.”

I can’t tell you how hopeful that line makes me feel. It’s in the dark, when everyone is sleeping that I search for the truth, pray and write…
.-= JenX´s Last Fabulous Post ..x bragonomics =-.

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Robin Easton August 11, 2009 at 6:15 pm

Geez Lance, this is SO full that I feel stunned speechless. I would hardly know where to begin to leave a comment. I guess all I can say is that the magnitude of power, stamina and inner courage portrayed in this post is something I just love and strongly relate to. I don’t do triathlons — although it’s something I wouldn’t rule out as a life dream for me — I do know the life lessons you present here and that sense of digging so deeply into oneself that you find out and KNOW what you’re made of. THAT is an irrefutable life change that stays with us forever. Something in us is altered forever. And there is an electric connection with Life that comes from it. I truly believe that for many, triathlons on their deepest level are soul journeys or a form of communion with self and life.

This is one of your very best dear Lance. I’m still reeling and stunned by they dynamic power of it. Thank you my dear friend. Robin
.-= Robin Easton´s Last Fabulous Post ..Turn Off the Bombardment =-.

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Amanda Linehan August 11, 2009 at 7:27 pm

Hi Lance – I love the part of this post about transitions. Transitions are full of uncertainty and things can happen that we didn’t want to. But, transitions are necessary for growth and we really have to go through them if we want to move on to the next phase of our life. Taking what comes and doing our best to be flexible is the best way through transitions. 🙂
.-= Amanda Linehan´s Last Fabulous Post ..Be Honest With Yourself =-.

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Liara Covert August 11, 2009 at 7:33 pm

Lance, you have a very uplifting way of sharing your personal life experiences. The lessons you present are often universal. They remind people that self-honesty and everything you do or do not do is actually a meaningful teacher. Thank you for all that you express, all you are.
.-= Liara Covert´s Last Fabulous Post ..12 Points to transform you =-.

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Erin Prais-Hintz August 11, 2009 at 8:37 pm

Life lesson? To never miss a single post of The Jungle of Life! You really know how to take your experiences and shape them to be lessons for the rest of us, to remind us of what is really important. Thank you for that inspiration today, Lance!
Enjoy the day!
Erin
.-= Erin Prais-Hintz´s Last Fabulous Post ..Dare To…Ask For What You Want =-.

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Caroline August 11, 2009 at 8:51 pm

Well, I do understand this! After cheering on my hubby through many tri’s and then the Ironman…it is such a metaphor for life. Watching the Ironman last week was so powerful…an experience that will stay with me for life. You can never fully prepare…but must be flexible. You have to really listen to your body and shut out the deafening negative mental garbage that your mind screams during the race. I was overwhelmed watching the athletes that kept going, even in the 17th hour when the race was officially closed. We really can do anything! ANYTHING!!!

Great post Lance!

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Keith August 11, 2009 at 9:03 pm

WOW! Awesome post Lance! I just finished reading Caroline’s post on The Zen In You, and now I just completed yours and I am so pumped! I am finishing yet another eighteen hour day and I am still tempted to go grab my bike and go riding!

“Life is what you make it to be” I absolutely love this statement and everything it implies!

Thank you Lance, I cannot tell you how much inspiration your writing brings to me and how thankful I am to have discovered your blog.

Keep Rockin’ this blog!
.-= Keith´s Last Fabulous Post ..Stay The Course! =-.

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Kaushik August 11, 2009 at 9:56 pm

Great! That’s amazing discipline!

Life is what you make it to be. It certainly is. Thanks for the fun and insight!
.-= Kaushik´s Last Fabulous Post ..Do you feel lighter, more compassionate, more joyful, more natural, more playful? =-.

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Laurie August 11, 2009 at 10:03 pm

Being able to complete a long difficult project like this is incredible Lance. I am not a runner. I am still continuing my attempts at skiing though. Maybe by the end of the summer I can get up on those darn skis!

There are so many life lessons to learn from your experience. I believe the biggest one is the one taught from the death of the swimmer. Not only did it teach that we need to live and love everyday, but it also showed how we can’t afford to wait to grow spiritually. We need to get right with God now…everyday.
Thanks for all you teach me Lance. You are the teacher more than I’ll ever be.

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Robin August 12, 2009 at 12:35 am

What a loveley, inspiring post, Lance! I especially liked your “What matters is going out into your life, listening to your heart, and trying those things which have deep meaning for you.” – it’s fascinating how the things that have deep meaning for us are the ones that both challenge us and give us the most satisfaction – and it’s different things for each person. – R
.-= Robin´s Last Fabulous Post ..Blogger Meet-Up! =-.

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Mindful Mimi August 12, 2009 at 1:59 am

Lance,
What a great post. And how true it is.
Since I have started running I have gone through most of what you described – in one single sport 🙂 I have learned from it for life but also for the running itself. I do not need to train for a marathon. I run for pleasure and health and because it keeps me sane. And that is how I try to approach life. Everything should be fun (or as much fun as possible) and keep me sane. Although I have not reached the 100% level of fun yet, I am pretty much on my way.
So thanks for that detailed analysis.
And keep on running, biking and swimming. can’t wait to hear about that exciting project.
Mimi
.-= Mindful Mimi´s Last Fabulous Post ..If you don’t have a list of at least twenty things you like to do, then you don’t have a menu for enjoying life – Marelisa Fabrega =-.

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CG Walters August 12, 2009 at 4:16 am

Bravo Lance, for continuing to blog your insights and performing in triathlons.
blessings and continued inspiration,
CG
.-= CG Walters´s Last Fabulous Post ..Rock Creek Hike 08 Aug 09 =-.

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Megan "JoyGirl!" Bord August 12, 2009 at 4:38 am

Wow, what a fantastic analogy and one that I can definitely relate to. While I’ve never done a triathlon (I never learned to swim the “right” way), I am in-love with running. The only other comparison that went through my mind as I read your wonderful post involved running up a steep hill, which is my most challenging part of any run. Rather than look at the top of the hill the whole time and struggle my way up, I focus on the very next step I’m going to take. On top of that, I remind myself mentally, “I love to run, I love to run, I love to run,” with every step. It lifts my energy and makes those killer hills much more enjoyable.
I’ve found the same can be said for life – one small step at a time with a reminder that I do everything out of love, or else I don’t do it at all.

I’ll be thinking of this post as I work out this morning, and smiling. Thanks, Lance!
.-= Megan “JoyGirl!” Bord´s Last Fabulous Post ..The Earth: Teacher of Unconditional Love (Quote from Byron Katie) =-.

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Lynn August 12, 2009 at 6:49 am

Lance –

I saved your post to read this morning because I knew it would inspire me to have a great day. I jotted these words down on my planner, “What has the greatest meaning to us? What’s worth fighting for?” Family, friends, being strong for others, doing good work – there are so many things.

Thank you. And I borrowed the Dr. Seuss quote for my email signature.
.-= Lynn´s Last Fabulous Post ..Lucky Day, le sigh and parcel =-.

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Hilary August 12, 2009 at 8:34 am

Hi Lance – great post and I love the way you analysed each part, they were so pertinent. I think probably during this long period in my life I’m on this constant merry go round, which twirls and elastic bands in between, so I need to rationalise where I’m at .. though I’m not Tri-ing (and remotely the only bit I could even think of doing is the bike bit – but not after the others) I am constantly aware of what is required and where I am .. and my stamina has to be good – it’s in the head at the moment, I wouldn’t survive otherwise. I do need to kick start the physical part though ..

Lots of good points – thanks so much
Hilary Melton-Butcher
Positive Letters Inspirational Stories
.-= Hilary´s Last Fabulous Post ..How are the Romans, Monty Python and Jugglers all linked to Scotland? =-.

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Marelisa August 12, 2009 at 8:37 am

Hi Lance: The training–both physical and mental–that is required to participate in such a difficult event as a triathlon is definitely a great metaphor for life. I think it’s one of the reasons it’s so important to get kids involved in sports: it teaches them so many valuable lessons they’ll need in life. Kudos to you for participating in so many different sporting events!
.-= Marelisa´s Last Fabulous Post ..49 Gratitude Quotes and a Poem Of Thankfulness =-.

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Valeska August 12, 2009 at 8:42 am

Hi Lance. I really enjoyed reading this today! Thanks for sharing your life lessons, very thought provoking to me and found myself nodding at what you wrote. Absolutely love the Dr. Seuss quote!

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Daphne @ Joyful Days August 12, 2009 at 8:54 am

Gosh Lance, I’ve been meaning to take part in a triathlon for years and feel that I’ve just done one vicariously through you! Thanks for sharing the details, and it’s amazing how many lessons you can squeeze out even when you’re exhausted, thirsty and hungry. Bravo for doing two triathlons, and for a really great post.
.-= Daphne @ Joyful Days´s Last Fabulous Post ..Can We Grow into Selflessness? =-.

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Audra Krell August 12, 2009 at 9:01 am

I was all excited because it’s not even 7 am here and then I see 34 comments!!! I’m going to have to get up at 3 in the mornings to be one of the first. And while I’d love to “tri” that, I think I’ll save my efforts for things that happen when the sun is up! : )
I love the action in this picture, when I saw it I didn’t know what they were doing, but I wanted to be a part of it and try it!
Congratulations on everything you did this summer, very impressive. You should feel wonderful about how hard you worked!
Can’t wait for the interview!
.-= Audra Krell´s Last Fabulous Post ..Vision vs. Expectation =-.

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Andrea Hess|Empowered Soul August 12, 2009 at 10:33 am

Great post, Lance. I did a sprint-distance triathlon a few years back, and this brought back fond memories.

Absolutely every experience in life, I think, is a microcosm of the bigger picture. It’s amazing what we can learn when we just go and do something different, something new. It doesn’t always even have to be a huge undertaking (although triathlons are no small feat, that’s for sure!).

Thanks for a great example that growth and learning are available in every nook and cranny of life.

Blessings,
Andrea

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J.D. Meier August 12, 2009 at 10:55 am

Good solid, insightful stuff.

I like your point on the holistic approach with body, mind, and spirit. It really does take a rounded set of skills to win in life and I’ve always been a fan of skilled living.

I like how you injected your life lessons throughout, and I especially like the message from Dr. Seuss, “…There is no one alive who is youer than you…”
.-= J.D. Meier´s Last Fabulous Post ..Poor Communication isn’t the Source of Most Conflicts =-.

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brandi August 12, 2009 at 11:43 am

Lance, so much of what you personally learned served as a powerful guide for all our experiences. I absolutely loved this post-loved reading about the experience, loved learning the take aways.
.-= brandi´s Last Fabulous Post ..beauty-FULL =-.

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Lance August 12, 2009 at 12:30 pm

@Nadia – Thanks so much for being here Nadia. Listening to our hearts…there’s no better place to listen from, is there. I know what it’s like to focus on the mind, and how not listening to the heart – that’s a place that doesn’t speak our truth. Listening to the heart…well, sometimes this can feel vulnerable…still, though, it’s our truth, and it’s the place we should be at. Nadia, thank you, always, for being a light…

@Tess – So great to have you here Tess. And I know this post is something you can relate to. Seeing athletes compete can be a very moving experience (like seeing an 83 year old lady finish a triathlon!). Seeing the Ironman competition – wow, how special an experience that had to be! And Tess – your daughter is a shining example of what is possible. And do you know what else? That goes right back to her upbringing, and how you’ve instilled this attitude in her…of that, I’m sure… Keep on living like the 35 year old body says you are! You rock at this Tess!!

@Stacey Shipman – Life lessons…they’re all around us! And yes, there will come moments when having these to lean on can make all the difference. Competing in the triathlons these last few years has been a ton of fun – you’ve got to try it Stacey!! See, you running a marathon…a short triathlon would be a piece of cake (mmm…cake…). Thanks much!!

@John – That’s a great quote by Elaine Maxwell! I just discovered it while creating this post, and knew it would fit here so well. Thinking of that as a “life quote”, what a great thought John! Tri…try new things…an awesome way to live!

@Blake – I love that thought. Crosssing the finish line, means that race is over. But it’s not the end of the journey…so much like life!

@Melly – Thank you!! And I’ve only done the sprint triathlons…a relatively short distance compared to something like an Ironman triathlon. That I can’t even imagine… The transitions of life, yes – these can be moments when sometimes struggle. I wonder if that’s because during these times, we have the opportunity to look a little deeper. And maybe that can be a bit scary… And your comment about life being a long distance race – how true! We’re in this thing called ‘life’ for the long haul. And where do we want to be racing towards? We ARE capable of so much…and limit ourselves way too much. I know I do! And after I’ve done something like this, compete in a triathlon – I feel energized that all IS possible! And Melly…you are way, way to kind to me…thank you once again!!

@Tess – Hey Tess, great to see you again! Be as long winded as you want…you speak very wise and heartfelt words…(don’t stop…).

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Lance August 12, 2009 at 12:31 pm

@Jodi – Hi Jodi. While it did take a bit to put this together, it was also something that was close to my heart, and that made it fun to write! The bike portion is easy for me. It’s the swim where I struggle (and can’t just stop!) and the run because I’m starting to get tired. Those are the times when the mental strength is really required. A lot of this comes to me after the race is over – in the days following – usually when I’m out on an early morning bike ride near our house. This time has become a goldmine of thinking opportunities…as I ride along the bike path and let my mind just process the thoughts floating around in there. So good… Anyway, Jodi, thanks for virtually riding along with me today!

@Bunny – Thanks much Bunny! I’ve found that these different sporting events I’ve been involved in really are a great source of life lessons. I just have to take the time to let them all settle in a bit. And, Bunny, it’s my honor to have linked to your article on this one…

@Chris – That’s awesome Chris! We can gain so much clarity from events like this. There’s just so much there, and so much that goes into being successful at it all. I usually hang toward the back of the wave I go out with, so I don’t get tangled up with others right away. Of course, being this is difficult for me, the next group usually eventually catches up to me anyway! I’ll have to try counting strokes – thanks much for the tip!!

@Evita – Hi Evita. I used to think that triathlons were something that seemed “way out there” and not something I could ever do. And I’m not saying they’re easy, but with practice you CAN do it. I’m proof!! Of course, that then depends on if this is something you want to do or not. Fears. Yes, that’s something I felt very much when I started doing these. Fear. And I think that’s a common feeling with many, especially new participants. In fact, I still have some of that before I get in the water. Once I’m in, though, then I “have” to focus on what I’m doing. And maybe that’s part of the lesson too. Focusing on the task at hand, and getting through it. Anyway…you like swimming! I say we do a team effort on a triathlon. You can swim, I’ll run – and we’ll flip a coin to see who gets to bike!!

@Vered – The thing is, I haven’t always been athletic (and if you ask my kids…they’ll still question that today!). What I’ve found is that when I started focusing on my body a few years ago, this just led so well (for me) into how much my mind plays a role in all of this. It’s been an evolution to reach more into my soul, and being in that spot has been so, so good. Vered, thank you, very deeply, for all of this today…

@Avani – Hi Avani. Sometimes that transition isn’t exactly what we’re expecting, is it. And that doesn’t mean we still can’t stop if we need to. Sometimes we can take all the running life throws at us, and other times – we just have to stop and pause. And that’s okay. It’s all part of our (your) wonderful life! I’m looking forward to what you have to come on running and life lessons!!

@Sami – Hey there fellow triathlete! See, and the biking is my favorite part of the three. Maybe it helps that we have a nice bike trail close to our house – it makes for great training (and wonderful moments of clarity and thinking too). And what a great story you’ve shared! I love it – giving that little extra effort when everyone else has went home. It makes all the difference in the world! And look where it took him – the Olympics and a silver medal – how awesome is that!!

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Lance August 12, 2009 at 12:31 pm

@Amy Jewell – Well, I’ve been competing in triathlons for about the last four or five years, although I’ve usually only done one each year. It always feels like a big accomplishment to cross that finish line, and know that I’ve done it – really competing against myself and the voices in my head telling me to stop. And Agnes…the crowd loves her! She gets the biggest roar from the onlookers (which is well-deserved!). It’s so cool to see her cross the finish line too! And yes, the mind plays such a big part in this – wanting to give up. And when the body is still able to go on. Thanks much Amy, and I’m looking forward to tonight!

@Yum Yucky – Strong on the inside leads to displaying the confidence and strength on the outside! You do show that, Josie! You show it so well, and it’s a strength that shows the beauty of your character. So good having you here…always…

@JenX – As I wrote that line, I felt that same hope come to me, Jen. And I believe it, very much. So much hope there, and in what I’m doing as well. Those early morning hours when most “normal” people are still sleeping… Jen, what you’re doing, this is so, so good for the soul. And you have a soul that shines…from doing just as you have been…

@Robin Easton – So good to have you here Robin. I AM changed because I’ve competed in these, just as you are changed because of many of the life adventures you’ve been on. The change is that I see more deeply within. That I connect more with who I am. That’s not why I first compted in triathlons…I competed just to see if I could finish. It’s become so much more than that. It all touches upon who I am at my core. And seeing that has been so, so good. So whatever we choose – be it triathlons, or something else that challenges us in some way (I know you’ve been there Robin) – it’s all good. Thanks so much for this today.

@Amanda – Hi Amanda. That’s a great way of looking at transitions – through the eyes of uncertainty. There are indeed that in a triathlon as well. It’s a time to switch gears, and in life, that’s what we often have to do when we’re making some sort of transition as well. Flexibility is so important. Amanda, thank you – this was so good to read.

@Liara – The world around us is full of teachers, isn’t it Liara! Around every corner, if we’re willing to open our minds and hearts – the teacher awaits. For me, seeing this unfold, this learning of lessons from daily activities – this has been so wonderful, and it’s a pleasure to share this here.

@Erin – Erin! You sure know how to make me feel great!! Thank YOU!! And it’s a complete pleasure to use this space and share some of the lessons I’ve learned in life. And even better are all the wonderful comments that just add so, so much to it all!

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suzen August 12, 2009 at 1:25 pm

Superb! And Congrats! I was nearly panting myself just reading about your race! And the way you tied all the elements to life itself – well, precious! You do that so well with a lot of your blogs you are writing your book right here kiddo!

Preparation and training – whether mental or physical – is a key element that should not be ignored. I did a few times – used the excuse I must be in transition, when in fact, I was just “lost” by not being prepared. Integrating mind, body & spirit is the best way to approach anything – which you know – and which is also why you are having great success! You rock!
.-= suzen´s Last Fabulous Post ..I Want My Mommy! The Ideal Mommy! =-.

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Jennifer August 12, 2009 at 1:42 pm

Awww Lance! Will the interview be recorded? I’ll be away, but I’d love to hear it. You deserve every bit of the spotlight and recognition. Soooo happy for you!!! Sure hope I get to hear the interview later.

This was a really neat post Lance. You have such a talent for drawing life lessons out of everything. I’m not sure what it was, but as I was reading your post I almost starting crying. Something struck a cord within me. I think it just made me think and for that I’m always grateful. I’ll investigate it further.

I’m so proud of you for entering and competing in and finishing both races! That is such an awesome accomplishment! Something to be very proud of!!

All of your lessons were wonderful, but perhaps my favorite was “Change for the sake of improvement” when things don’t go as planned. That’s a lesson I need to keep in mind. I’m so stubborn I have a tendency to hold on and not let go and change what I need to. This is something that I’m going to work on. God has been giving me these great reminders lately. Thank you for this one.

If you can complete a tri-athalon you can do anything! Go for the stars Lance! Don’t hold back.
.-= Jennifer´s Last Fabulous Post ..Success or Failure? =-.

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Diane C. August 12, 2009 at 1:46 pm

Fascinating to read about your experiences with triathlons. I like how you included life lessons you learned from each aspect of the race. Eighty-three year old Agnes is quite an inspiration and so are you. My favorite part is at the end where you say, “Go out into the world today. Be you. That deep-down you that is your soul! Let it shine. Let YOU shine!”
.-= Diane C.´s Last Fabulous Post ..Roadside Memorials =-.

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Chris Edgar | Purpose Power Coaching August 12, 2009 at 1:53 pm

Thanks for this Lance — I know I have those moments when although my body says stop, my spirit cries . . . never! Okay, I’ve been listening to too much Rocky IV soundtrack. But I definitely recommend the Training Montage in case you need inspiring training music.

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Lisa (mommymystic) August 12, 2009 at 2:54 pm

Lance, this is truly a phenomenal post, I love it. Although I have never done a tri-athlon (and really can’t imagine doing so to tell you the truth), I studied martial arts for a long time, and many of the lessons here that you mention were things I encountered too. I really didn’t have any sense of pushing through boundaries or digging deep before that. I had some perception that if something was ‘right for me’, it should come easily. And it was so important for me to learn how to dig deep and push myself – that drawing on those inner resources was so empowering. I love what you said about decision-making too. Thanks for a great post, and good luck with your interview. – Lisa
.-= Lisa (mommymystic)´s Last Fabulous Post ..An Interview with Gangaji =-.

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Lori August 12, 2009 at 3:12 pm

I love triathlon!

Thanks for breaking this down for us here. I had not thought of all the life lessons I was learning during those tris…thanks Lance! I wish I could do my races over with your thoughts in mind.

I am glad you are enjoying them and also glad to see you spreading the love about racing triathlon. It is truly a spectacular sport. Congrats!! Great post!

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Lance August 12, 2009 at 3:20 pm

@Caroline – The Ironman for your husband! Caroline, I can’t even grasp fully how mentally and physically challenging this must be. Especially the mental side as the race goes on. Seventeen hours on the course – isn’t that mind boggling! And proof that the body is an amazing work or art, and capable of so much – if we’re not limited by how our thoughts can hold us back. Thanks so, so much for sharing this experience Caroline.

@Keith – And I’ve just read Caroline’s comment here, and find it so mentally charged with what IS possible! Amazing what we can do if we believe we can! Enjoy the bike ride! So good having you here today Keith…

@Kaushik – We have the ability, each one of us – to do great things – if we just believe we can. Especially after completing my first triathlon a few years back – this lesson rang so true to me. Today, competing in these events reinforces this whole principle for me.

@Laurie – You can do it – the skiing! I know you’re doing much better than I (as you keep trying…and that’s it right there, not giving up in those things that matter). Keep at it Laurie…and keep having fun along the way! And yes – today is all we have for sure. That point was really driven home as I heard later in the day of that first triathlon that the person pulled from the water had not survived. Life is fragile. And NOW is the time to live. Not in waiting until tomorrow, or next week, or next year…or never…

@Robin – That’s for sure…deep meaning seems to bring both challenge and satisfaction. I think it can be a challenge because it may take us out of what feels like our comfort zone, when we really listen to our heart. And when we do – that’s also was brings so much satisfaction, in the doing of what really matters…

@Mimi – That’s awesome Mimi! Running just for pleasure, that’s great. And I find those times when I’m out running or biking – to be moments when clarity rises to the top. Something about being out there feels very freeing to me. Part of the lure of training for an event – like the triathlon – for me, is that I keep myself pumped up about doing these exercises, knowing I’ll be competing. On the other hand, just doing these for pleasure is so, so good too. Keep on running, Mimi! And delving in the life lessons that present themself along the way…

@CG Walters – Thanks much, CG! I learn so much about myself, and about life – in the training and competing at these events.

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Lance August 12, 2009 at 3:20 pm

@Megan – I’m not sure I’ve learned to swim the right with either! (maybe that’s why the water portion still scares me!) Running, that’s awesome Megan! And I love the idea of just focusing on the next step. In fact, I could have really used that idea in the first triathlon – the run was very hilly! And a big, big challenge! And the whole analogy is go good – one step at a time, and pretty soon you’ve reached your goal – the top of the hill – in running and in life! Hope you had a great workout this morning!

@Lynn – Isn’t that Dr. Seuss quote great! You are the the only “you” in the world…and that’s a very awesome you, by the way! And finding those things which have great meaning – such a good place to be at, when you “know” what these are. So good to read this comment of yours today Lynn…

@Hilary – Hi Hilary. Stamina. A great point – having the stamina to keep going on the merry go round of our life – even when it bounces us around a bit. Great thoughts, thanks much!

@Marelisa – Hi Mare. That’s it – it really is both a mental and physical battle. And I believe the mental battle is probably the harder of the two to win. Our body can do so much! It was great to do these, and for me – I don’t ever see myself winning a race. So, it then becomes competing against myself, and learning along the way just what I am capable of…so, so good for me!

@Valeska – Hi Valeska. I love that Dr. Seuss quote too! So good! Glad to hear you liked the post!

@Daphne – Hey Daphne, well then…it was great to take you along for the ride on this virtual triathlon! And now…I think you’re ready for the real thing! You CAN do it! And yes, I really find there’s so much more than just the physical benefits of doing these races!

@Audra – Ha!! Alright, you’ve given me a good laugh today Audra! Yes, triathlons start at weird hours of the day for most “sane” people. The first one I did this year had a start time of 6:30 AM. I think I was there at around 5 AM to get checked in and setup. Wait…am I saying I’m not sane???

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Lance August 12, 2009 at 3:20 pm

@Andrea – That’s awesome, Andrea! And that’s what I did too – sprint distances. I’m not sure I’m ready for anything longer…especially the swim portion. And you bring up an excellent point – doing something different – whether big or small – can give us a whole new perspective. And in seeing things differently, our life can start to go in new directions. And that’s a pretty great thought!

@J.D. Meier – Body, mind, spirit -> something I’m understanding the more I evolve and grow. And it’s in things like this where I really find so much to grow from. Often – in the time spent training – not just in the glory of the event. And Dr. Seuss rocks, doesn’t he!!

@Brandi – Hi Brandi. This post has special meaning to me, as it’s one where the lessons all came from one thing – the training and competing in these triathlons. The hard work, and how it paid off. And also – although not really shared above – the lack sometimes of practice – and what that cost me – especially in the run portion of the event. Lessons that will stick with me… So, I’m so glad you found meaning in these as well.

@Suzen – Thank you Suzen! I was definitely panting as I finished each of the races! Preparation…so important. Take the run…I spent the least amount of time on this area, and I really felt I didn’t do as well as I could have on the run (go figure!). And Suzen…you rock too!!

@Jennifer – Hi Jennifer. Yes, the interview will be recorded – I think the same link will take you to the recording after it’s done. If not, I’ll update the post with a link to the recorded version. And to the post – I think I can see emotion behind several of these “thoughts”. Today is what we have. That thought alone is something, when I really think about this, touches me to my core. And it can be easy to just say that – and not let it permeate deeper within you. When it does, though, when we think about how fleeting our time on earth is – that thought really gets me. And so I think that’s part of it Jennifer. From what I know, you are very much in touch with your soul, and that’s a beautiful picture. It’s also, I believe, what really brings out the emotion of some of the thoughts here. And I think that’s good…very good…. Jennifer, know that it’s so good for me to have you here, and to read your words…good for my soul…

@Chris Edgar – A little Rocky music is a great source of inspiration for when we’re feeling like stopping something that has great meaning to us. Music can be a powerful motivator…especially when we can link it to something like the “Rocky” movies, where we see someone never giving up. Keep that spirit shouting “never” – that’s awesome!

@Lisa(Mommymystic) – Thank you Lisa! What a great comparison to martial arts. I love the idea of pushing through boundaries. We can easily, in these sports, get to a point where we want to give up, like it seems too hard to go on. At those moments, if we can find within us that something which will take us a little deeper, we can move beyond these boundaries…and this can be so liberating! Lisa, thanks so much for sharing some of your experiences, such a great look at this from a different sport.

@Lori – Hey, I love triathlon too (maybe you could have guessed that)! And good for you, Lori – in competing in these events. So many lessons for me, in competing (and training) for these. And definitely a spectacular sport to be involved in!

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Sagan August 12, 2009 at 4:03 pm

WOW.

Triathlon? You’re my hero.
.-= Sagan´s Last Fabulous Post ..Our Likes and Dislikes =-.

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The Exception August 12, 2009 at 6:01 pm

This was wonderful to read. So much of the time people anticipate and prepare and predict and plan and yet, in the end… Life is really about relaxing and living in the moment. It is about learning and accepting and working through it all – the hills and vallies and the swim!

I loved this Lance – thank you!
.-= The Exception´s Last Fabulous Post ..Defining Moments =-.

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Davina August 12, 2009 at 8:24 pm

Hi Lance. This is a great article. I appreciate how you drew the parallels between each stage of the triathlon and life and how you highlighted the transitions you made. We can be so hard on ourselves when we are making transitions, but you’ve illustrated their value here in a genuine and non-preachy way. And… I’m in awe of ANYONE who participates in a triathlon. It is so far from anything that I’m built for. I suppose if I put my mind to it and trained for… oh… 30 years or so, I might be able to pull it off. I’m glad to hear that your radio show will be available for download, cause I see I’m too late to the party to catch it live. Look forward to listening.
.-= Davina´s Last Fabulous Post ..Group Writing Project: The Yogi Blogger =-.

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Barbara Swafford August 13, 2009 at 12:59 am

Hi Lance,

What a beautiful post. Not only did you take us on a journey with you (your triathlon) but you incorporated the life lessons that apply. I especially like the part about Agnes where you said, “we don’t have to be limited by what the world tells us the limits are. Set your own limits, and reach for the stars when no one believes except you. And be so awesome in it all! You can!”.

You’re right, we should not feel limited by what the world tells us. If we think we can, we can.

P.S. I look forward to hearing the recording of your interview. WooHoo. We get to put a voice to the name. 🙂
.-= Barbara Swafford´s Last Fabulous Post ..Looking Into The Future =-.

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Positively Present August 13, 2009 at 3:33 am

Great post! It’s wonderful to read about all of the lessons you learned about here and, of course, I love the quote at the top! It’s perfect! 🙂
.-= Positively Present´s Last Fabulous Post ..a positive present just for you =-.

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Lance August 13, 2009 at 5:13 am

@Sagan – Hey there, runner friend! And guess what? I think you’re ready for one of these yourself! Until then, though, being a hero – double wow!! Thanks much Sagan, you rock!

@The Exception – And that’s a great point. Preparation is a good thing to do, to be ready for what we anticipate happening. It gets us ready. Although when we’re actually “doing” life, it never will be exactly as planned. There will be transitions, unplanned bumps, and smooth sailing – all in spots we hadn’t planned. And through this, we “live in the moment”, because that’s all we really have. Great thoughts, thank you!

@Davina – Hi Davina. See, I used to think the sport of triathlon seemed so far “out there”, and not me. And what I’ve found, is that I really enjoy this sport. And there is so much I learn about myself, in the process. And yes, I DO see value in the transition stages of our lives…as long as we’re open to seeing them ourselves. Thanks much, Davina, it’s great having you here!

@Barbara – Hi Barbara. It’s good to have you along on the journey through the triathlon. A familiar face…just like in life, is so good to have along! And – right, we are limited only by ourselves, adn what we allow to hold us back. And…the interview is out there now, I’ve updated the link up above.

@Positively Present – Thanks for stopping by today Dani! And that quote, it really says that we can be in charge of our lives, doesn’t it. An important thing for all of us to remember…

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Chania Girl August 13, 2009 at 7:57 am

The reason why we all love your blog so much is because you yourself let your little light shine ALL the time 😀 Your words are a joy to read and provide insight that meets most of us where we are. I enjoyed this post very much, and it was this comment that stood out for me: “Proper nourishment is important for our growth. And this is more than just nutritional nourishment to feed our physical bodies. This is also mental and spiritual nourishment to feed our souls. Do this – all of this – and you will be on a path of having a body that is fed in so many more ways than just the food we eat. ”

Your blog is one of the places I come for some mental and spiritual nourishment. Thank you!

p.s. I missed the broadcast (boo.hiss.) but will try to catch the recording today. Thank you for giving it to us.
.-= Chania Girl´s Last Fabulous Post ..Measuring Up =-.

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Karl Staib - Work Happy Now August 13, 2009 at 12:28 pm

I love how you talk about the transitions from one event to the next. I find that when I’m focused on transitioning from one situation to the next it makes it much smoother.

You seemed to improve in the second race by keeping yourself calm. I like to think of this as active relaxation. When we are in motion and able to stay calm we make better decisions.

There are many life lessons in everything we do, but pushing ourselves to the limit (triathlon) will force us to adapt and change quickly. I’ve been afraid to launch my own business because I want to get all my ducks in a row. The hard part is accepting that my ducks will never all be in a row. I just need to start and coral them when needed.
.-= Karl Staib – Work Happy Now´s Last Fabulous Post ..Dealing With Dread =-.

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Katie West/The Levity Coach August 13, 2009 at 8:46 pm

Lance,
This is so fabulous on many levels. Your writing, the subject and your ability to distill the core messages of the experience. I used to compete in tris and this felt like such a holy way to understand the experience. For me, your post really hits on the head the idea of “It is all about the journey, not the destination.”
Thank you for taking time to write this…and good for you for getting out there and doing it. Tris are not easy!!!
Life is what we make it and thank you for being such a good example of what it looks like to shine.
Peace and Laughter,
Katie
.-= Katie West/The Levity Coach´s Last Fabulous Post ..Creating Social Change Through Laughter- August 22, 2009 =-.

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Spring Girl August 14, 2009 at 4:58 am

Wow! Good on you. I think you may have just inspired me to do an adventure race that I’ve had my eye on. I love how everything in life is linked and how if you look you can find lessons that translate into all parts of life. Thanks for the post – lots of thought provoking ideas and I really liked all the quotes too.
.-= Spring Girl´s Last Fabulous Post ..Weekend away =-.

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Lance August 14, 2009 at 7:53 am

@Chania Girl – Awww, thank you CG! The thing about writing for me…it’s become so much more that just words typed. They’ve become a way for me to “dig deeper” within myself. And as much and more of that comes from the deeply heartfelt comments left here in this space…words which give even more meaning to all of this, to life, and to living. You do that, my friend. And yes – the recording is available, so check it out at your leisure…

@Karl – Knowing that there’s a transition coming makes it easier to plan for those “moments”. Sometimes, though, we don’t always see them coming. In those moments, in the decisions we have to make – what we have is what’s inside of us…and choice. It’s easy to sit here and type that…and another thing altogether to do this “in the moment”. Good stuff to think about though, Karl – thanks much! And the second race – yes, I was much more calm getting into the water. I really focused in my mind on just seeing myself in the water…in smooth and fluid movement. And wow! Focus is such a key! And lastly – to your business idea, and taking it out of your heart and mind, and into the real world – I know you can do this. I’ve witnessed what you have going on at your site, and I really believe you have a message that is so worth spreading! Know that you’ll have the support of many in your endeavors, and that includes me!

@Katie – Katie! So you’re a former tri-girl — very awesome! (I think this is so cool!) Yes…all about the journey. What a fitting way to think about a triathlon. You finish one event, and that’s not the end…it’s only part of the journey. A journey that will have highs and lows. Wow, I’m really loving this thought about the journey! The whole of the event makes up the journey, and in the end that’s what it’s about. Sure, it’s great to cross that finish line. The real magic is out there on the course, in moments when you want to quite but dig in a little deeper, or at the elation of finishing one event only to have to jump right into the next. So much here… And right back at you my friend…peace and laughter all the way!

@Spring Girl – Thanks much for stopping by, and for your wonderful comment! An adventure race, now that sounds fun! I do see lessons in much of what we do in life…so much we can learn just from the “doing” we do. Thanks again!

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Lynda Lehmann August 14, 2009 at 9:21 am

I love the Dr. Seuss quote! Makes perfect sense!

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Julie August 14, 2009 at 10:23 am

First, Lance, I admire you so much for this! You’ve come very far and you surely deserve to feel very proud! What an accomplishment just to be IN the races!! 🙂

Second, I just LOVE how you take ordinary moments and find the philosophical in them and then show how we can apply the philosophy to life. It’s so wonderful to be able to find like-minded people, those who actually put voice to the connections. Warms my heart! 🙂 YOU, however, speak in such a clear way, so to the point there’s no way anyone could miss the emphasis. You are a natural teacher, a wonderful coach, and an inspiring leader!

Now, to the one phrase that jumped off the screen for me: “…if you can find some harmony in your life, by giving all of these areas focus – then you’ve reached a spot that brings the connection of body and soul together.” In my thinking, that’s what it’s all about, this existence we call life. So many speak of the mind-body-spirit connection yet fail to speak of them all together/i>, as if they are the single unit they indeed are. Wonderful work, Lance! Thank you.
.-= Julie´s Last Fabulous Post ..The Honor is All Mine =-.

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Jen August 14, 2009 at 1:43 pm

hi Lance,
I enjoyed this blog SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO much! 🙂 I passed it onto a few friends/family through email! I know it will bless them also! 🙂 It was a pleasure to stop by and leave feeling so inspired! I’ve never done a tri- before but I love how you compared it to life! Thank you for sharing! Have a blessed weekend! Namaste!
warmly, Jen/Sharmila
.-= Jen´s Last Fabulous Post ..A Generous Thought: Open Doors to Cathedrals,.. =-.

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Stacey / Create a Balance for Moms August 14, 2009 at 9:39 pm

Hi Lance. I would love to do a triathlon. I’d love to have the discipline to prepare for it, it’s love to train with a team, I’d love to know what it feels like to be at the finish line. Thanks for walking me through your journey (and know I’m off to listen to your interview).
.-= Stacey / Create a Balance for Moms´s Last Fabulous Post ..The Balanced Body of a Balanced Mommy =-.

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Lance August 15, 2009 at 5:22 am

@Lynda – There is no one youer than you! Thanks for stopping by Lynda, it’s great having you here.

@Julie – Hi Julie! Thinking back a few year, there was a time I couldn’t even imagine competing in a triathlon…which makes this so good for me personally. So, thank you!! There really is so much we can learn, just from the ordinary daily events of our life, if we just take the time to see what’s there. Pretty awesome, isn’t it! And I love how you’re describing the mind-body-spirit connection, and how interconnected they all are. When we live our lives with these connections to deeper parts of us – together – that IS harmony…coming from a spot deep within…

@Jen – Hi Jen. It’s so great having you here, and thank YOU! Competing in triahlons has really been so good for me. And so many lessons in life. And to that point, I think that if we look closely, we’ll find those life lessons in much that we do in life. Thanks so much for being here, and for you wonderful support!

@Stacey / Create A Balance – Hi Stacey. Know that it’s great for me to have you here, always…and walking through this event with you – it has been a pleasure! Stacey, I KNOW you could do this…if you really want to… Thanks so much for being here, you’ve been such a constant supporter for so long, and I appreciate that very deeply.

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I TAKE OFF THE MASK August 16, 2009 at 12:07 am

It’s so nice to read such a profound reflection about sports/ triathlon! I’ve always thought athletes to be in deep meditation whenever they perform their game, it’s just that the meditation cannot be translated into words to fit its true essence. Well in this post, all the words just came out to which every athlete or sportslover can relate to. More power!
.-= I TAKE OFF THE MASK´s Last Fabulous Post ..Manage Your Anger by Mastering Your Powers =-.

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Hilda August 16, 2009 at 5:48 am

Thank you, thank you, thank you! Lance I can’t tell you how perfect this post is for me today (and coming to it late it the week makes it even more perfect for me!) It’s six days to my Gael Force challenge, and when I started training for that I was REALLY scared I’d never feel ready for it.

But like you said, I did the mental preparation as well as the physical, and now I’m actually excited and looking forward to it.

But as well as that, there’s a really big life change that I want to make, but that also scares me – ALOT! But I’m doing the mental preparation for that right now, and I’m confident that when the time comes to make the move the fear will have vanished 🙂

Please don’t come by my blog tomorrow, cos I’m pinching two of your quotes!
.-= Hilda´s Last Fabulous Post ..The best things in life aren’t things =-.

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Lance August 16, 2009 at 6:30 am

@Jocelyn – There’s a deep inner strength that’s needed to compete at a high level, something that great athletes find within. I really believe that’s where it starts, with finding that resolve within our being to make it happen. In sports, and in life…

@Hilda – Hi Hilda. First off, I just want to say – I know you can do this! You’ve trained, you’ve prepared yourself mentally and physically. You’re ready!! I can’t wait to hear how it goes! And like sports, life is much the same way. Do we always prepare the same way there, though? When we do, when we connect to what matters – even though the fear may not fully be gone – it’s so much easier to take on these life opportunities. And now…you know I’ll be over tomorrow!! Have a great, great week!

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Carla August 16, 2009 at 12:34 pm

What a beautiful post and congratulations on the interview!

We certainly do have to switch gears from time to time – ready or not. We have to be aware that it can happen at any time, take a moment to refuel and head on out. This is a great reminder for all of us.
.-= Carla´s Last Fabulous Post ..Being here now =-.

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Joy Winner-or-Whiner August 16, 2009 at 3:52 pm

That picture makes me want to jump right in on the fun!

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Hilary August 17, 2009 at 2:21 am

Hi Lance .. just thought you’d like to know I watched via the tv I regret some of the International World Triathlon Championships this weekend over the Olympic course 2012, in London’s Hyde Park and the Serpentine – this is an amazing event .. 8 days .. 8 countries, Washington has gone, next weekend! in Tokahama, and then the final on the Gold Coast on 9 – 13 Sept.

It’s over 5 days – presumably lots of different races before the two elite ones .. 6,000 athletes, 60,000 spectators and 42 countries.

That seems like tough work .. two races in 8 days .. I’m not sure when the rest were scheduled – but presumably over the summer ..

Tough .. it’s a really challenging sport .. and I know you enjoy it .. I had my mother watch a bit .. not much but it was London and she could see Hyde Park etc – something different, being bed bound.

Go well – and enjoy the racing .. or just participating ..
Hilary Melton-Butcher
Positive Letters Inspirational Stories
.-= Hilary´s Last Fabulous Post ..Garlic Beer Anyone? =-.

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Lance August 17, 2009 at 3:32 am

@Carla – Thanks so much, Carla! For all your support, especially. Switching gears, those transitions in life, are important times for us to refocus before heading on. Much like the transition period in a triathlon – life is the same. When we’ve refocused on the changes ahead, and refueled ourselves mentally and physically – we’re ready. Great thought!

@Joy Winner-or-Whiner – Doesn’t that picture just invite you right into the water!! Triathlon’s are so much fun!! Thanks for stopping by here.

@Hilary – Hilary, this sounds like such a fun event to watch! And – WOW! So impressive what they’re doing! I’ll have to look it up! Thanks so much for coming back here to share about it!

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Hilary August 17, 2009 at 4:48 am

Hi Lance .. it’ll be good to hear your thoughts .. I guess you can watch in the States via your cable, satellite channels .. or catch some of it .. it’s interesting to watch, because you just have to admire them.

But these endurance projects – seven marathons in 7 days, or what ever it was, up mountains and down dales in 5 hours .. no not quite .. but they are ultra events ..

Good for them and good for you enjoying your tri-ing .. enjoy the week ..
Hilary Melton-Butcher
Positive Letters Inspirational Stories
.-= Hilary´s Last Fabulous Post ..Garlic Beer Anyone? =-.

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Omar August 17, 2009 at 7:44 pm

I love this article. Earlier today I was a little discouraged. I began thinking of my career and how I want more money. Your post gives me the inspiration to keep striving. Thanks.

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Lance August 17, 2009 at 8:33 pm

@Hilary – I’ll see if we get it at all, not sure. I do think it is pretty awesome to watch these elite athletes perform. It’s crazy to think what our bodies are capable of once we get past the mental side of it all (plus lots of training!).

@Omar – Omar, hang in there. And if this career is one that means something to you and is important to YOU – then keep doing what you can. Give it all of your effort. In the end, your work will be recognized – and if it isn’t, then you’ve built yourself a strong base if you decide to pursue opportunities elsewhere.

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Hilary August 18, 2009 at 2:02 am

Hi Lance .. yes – it is incredible what we can do .. think of Bushmen, or the Masai of Kenya .. lithe, lean runners and I guess very strong .. we really should be doing something to help ourselves – me too! I haven’t kept my squash up .. age, recurring injury and obviously sitting too much. I must do something .. another trigger from you – thanks. Lots of training is the bit I need now – just the do – walking, walking etc etc – thanks Hilary
.-= Hilary´s Last Fabulous Post ..Queen and Red Arrows! =-.

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Jannie Funster August 27, 2009 at 10:19 am

What Vered said — verbatim! Yeah.
.-= Jannie Funster´s Last Fabulous Post ..Post-Vacation Contemplation =-.

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Lance August 28, 2009 at 9:47 pm

@Hilary – Whatever you do, Hilary, do it for you. And that’s the right decision…

@Jannie – Jannie, so good to have you here…always. And thank you, my friend, for everything…

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ann July 16, 2013 at 12:34 pm

This is what I have been looking for. Thank you.

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