Catching up with Maridee after her light workout (1hr bike, 1hr run), she stands amidst the staggering scenery at Alta Lake, the starting point for the IRONMAN race to be held in Whistler, BC. The calm waters will soon flood with calamity when 2,500 participants begin their bruising baptism into 12 to 14 plus hours of epic endurance, pain and ultimately, self-actualization.
And among those flailing limbs beat hearts of lions. Each one has her own story and reasons for the sacrifices they will have made just to hear that starting pistol on August 25th, 2013. Their motives are difficult for many of us to comprehend, as the most common question fielded by IRONMAN participants is, “Are you nuts?”
Injury, dehydration, hypothermia and hospitalization are deterrents for most of us average Joes. But to really get inside the rationale of the uber-athlete, we need to consider the complete arc of achievement these people commit themselves to. Months of tireless training and dietary accommodations as well as social restrictions and mental preparations must be juggled, all while staying one step ahead of concerned friends and relatives who are gathering signatures to have them committed.
Now factor in the athlete’s full-time day job and you can begin to appreciate the mammoth challenge they endure and the admiration they deserve. Maridee and her fellow triathletes are lifting the bar higher and higher. And as we learn to acknowledge their efforts, they raise us up, too. Improving our ability to recognize the significance of another person’s accomplishments can make us all champions. And the only therapy Ironmen need is physiotherapy! (Swimmer Photo: Ryan Jerz)