Thursday, September 6, 2012

Hello, Ironman!

What drives you? Not just to excel in what you do. Importantly, in pursuit of what you're doing. It can be a dream, a hobby, a lifestyle. What fuels the drive to get you there?

Malcolm Gladwell, the best-selling author of the books Tipping Point, Blink, What the Dog Saw among others, wrote in Outliers that for anyone to excel in something, at least 10,000 hours must be logged on to practice on the craft. 

That is countless of hours of repetition, of doing the same thing over and over again until it becomes second nature to them. Until skills and talent marry each other. Then, it becomes the image of a genius. Or geniuses. Hence, their unparalleled success. 

In active lifestyle, the triathlon people never fails to impress me. I am in awe of their sheer will to pursue a physically demanding and mentally challenging sport. I speak from an outsider looking in to the core of a friend's journey towards a finisher's medal. 

Meet Josette. She's a corporate athlete. Sales Executive by day, triathlete by weekends and in between days. And a mom, too. Yes, she wears many hats but her desire to finish an Ironman event prods her to train, night after night. Come rain or high water. 
Hosting gig for Avon Philippines with Epi Quizon.
One uninitiated actually asked what she gets out of participating other than being sunburnt. I believe she answered to this effect, "others dream of traveling, acquiring things, I, on the other hand, dream of finishing a race." 

I believe that the short and long of it is that she does it, "for the love of the game." She logs hours to train even by herself so she is ready come race day. And in spite of months of preparation, she still experiences "the nerves" and that mental anguish the night before. 

It's how painstaking it is. On her first attempt at CamSur last year, she worried about the swim leg of the race. But she aced it. Then, came the bike leg. She had to pedal for about 40kms. She had a great time and enjoyed it too much that she took her time and missed the bike window. It meant that she can no longer continue with the race. She begged and begged and cried... to no avail. Lost in the drama is the fact that she could have finished her first triathlon. Could have, the operative words. 

Did she give up on her dream? No, Sir. If at all, the desire has been fueled some more. And without any extra thought, she trained just as hard, just as consistently to prepare for the next opportunity. 

On August 12, the universe conspired to make her dream a reality. She was one of the thousands of Cebu's Ironman 70.3. The race gun fired at dawn and the sun shined the brighter mid-day when she finished the race at 7:44:12 hours. The time puts her in the #40 spot in her division. Not bad, eh? 

These are her digits: Swim: 00:49:23; Bike: 03:49:31 and Run: 02:56:36. These are the numbers that got her to the finish line of the 70.3 kilometer event. 
The form.
Pedaling her way to the 40km stretch. Here at the M. Fernan Bridge.
Impressive. Inspiring. And I write this because I want to tip my hat to this friend whose sole purpose for braving the sun, the rain and all the elements, is to reach her dream. 
Just one step.
Cebu Ironman 70.3 Finisher's Medal designed by kenneth Cobonpue. (Taken from the Cebu Ironman website)
 Those who dream by day are cognizant of many things which escape those who dream only by night.  -Edgar Allan Poe (1809 - 1849), "Eleonora"

Move over, Tony Stark.

No comments:

Post a Comment