I kept a journal and logged what I did everyday since then. It's been kinda fun looking back through it. Some days I would write in the margins "I refuse to do anything today!" Me at my finest.
I sometimes now try to understand why I fell to pieces in the last month. I was a mess. I was sour, over it and ready to stay home on Ironman Sunday. I'm so happy I didn't and finally snapped out of it but I realize now that it was all part of the bigger picture that at the time I couldn't see. I literally couldn't see the forest for the trees. The tree of doubt, the tree of fatigue, the tree of finding my bike jersey in the dirty laundry pile, etc.
During the marathon, I had A LOT of time to think. It was painful and it was slow but I knew I was going to finish. At times, I thought about that movie The Karate Kid. When I was growing up, I loved the movie, bought the book, read it a couple of times and watched the movie again. And again. If there was a soundtrack, I had that too.
The Karate Kid II was even on the other night and I spent the better part of an hour yelling at the tv screen, imploring Ralch Macchio to kick that Asian guys ass. I bet people see that guy to this day and hate him. I still don't like him but I'm a grudge holder.
The guy on the left. Major jerk. He probably had to buy those friends.
Anyway, point being, I realized that like Danielson, I too had faith and trust issues. Most of the time, I never believed that what I was doing was good enough. If I learned one lesson from any of this, it's to trust and believe that your best can be good enough. Whatever that might look like.
Many times my workouts felt nothing short of "Sand The Floor". Like a robot, for the fifth week in a row, I would load up my bike, drive to Louisville, ride endless amounts of highway, over and over and over. I would swim over and over and over. I would run over and over and over. Some days I loved it, other days I hated it. My poor friends, they would tell me how normal my feelings were, that this was all part of the process. I listened but most days it was just not making it's way through the filter. I'm stubborn like that.
This is when I began to understand that Ironman is not just some physical game I could cash in with my calculated splits, but rather a game of mental endurance that begins the first morning you cut your 13 mile run short to 8. You press forward with belief. You have to.
And you hope, that as the day wears on, you can bust out your crane move you've been practicing for so so so long. And that it'll work....
Because there were people with you along the way, that taught you, helped steer your ship, helped bucket out the water that you often felt was sinking your ship, that gave you advice and promised to be your friend no matter what.
Have you ever felt like you were constantly sanding the floor??