Coming into my first Ironman, I’ve been thinking a lot about the mental aspects of a race this long. Being strong mentally is going to be as important as being physically strong. I think about the voice that goes through my head now and what it will say during the race. My plan is for positive, upbeat talk, throughout the entire race. What I know is it will be a mix of voices from the past and upbeat talk from the present.
The voices from the past come from two people. My stepfather and my grandmother. What I heard from my stepfather growing up was always negative. Negative about my weight, negative about life, my abilities, negative about me and my brothers and sisters. The type of person my stepfather is best summed up by what he left each of his five kids in his will. Drum roll please… $1.00 dollar each. He died year before last, and believe you me, the world is a much better place without him in it.
My grandmother was just the opposite. She always preached to me that I could do anything I put my mind to. She supported me in anything I tried and never had anything but a positive word for me. She thought I hung the moon and I thought the same about her. Growing up my grandmother was a beacon of light in what was a pretty dark childhood. My grandmother died in 1995 and I still miss her and think of her often.
So come race day I’m ready for the voices no matter which place they come from. Positive and negative. I’m doing this race for me and for an example to my kids. Maybe, just maybe once I cross the finish line, some of the voices from the past will be silenced for good.