Monday, October 29, 2012

4 Weeks Out

Welcome to the end of October, and the home stretch of training.  Here, we have just finished what's called BASE 4 and it was the last section of training for performance increases before the actual IronMan race.  After base 4, this is when the nerves set in.  We are starting the taper, in which the hours drastically drop off and your head has more time to think... Great... I can feel my body tense up when i think about it, ready to start swimming at any moment, even though the race is still around 4 weeks away.  You start to visualize what it'll feel like in and during the actual race, you imagine what it'll look like, when you swim with 3,000 other people, what it will be like at the transition tent, and as you visualize it in your mind, your body reacts.  You feel your heart rate pick up, you start to sweat, your imagination runs wild with images and scenario's and possibilities  both good and bad.  The realization comes to you that you WILL be kicked and elbowed in the face.  Not probably... WILL BE.   How is that going to affect you?  hmm.  The mind is an incredible thing, and it doesn't know the difference between dreams and reality.  If you don't believe me just start thinking about your favorite food and before you're done reading, your mouth will start to water.

Base 4 was the hardest and most time consuming part of the training schedule, when the hours are the longest and the day's are the shortest.  Hours spent riding my bike in the basement, running on treadmills and staring out dark windows in the morning.  This is where the race is won or lost though.  When the schedule get's tough and the training isn't as fun, what do you do?  When your dream seems a little farther away than you thought it would be, and accomplishing your goals is taking more than you thought it would, isn't as much fun as you thought, what then?  This is the deciding moments, each day a new battle in the war.  What are you fighting for?  The story changes, people struggle for races, in business, in politics, in sports, and the winners and the losers are separated by a tiny fraction.  These daily battles are what decides the victor.  If you can see it in your mind, if you can taste it, then your brain can make it happen, whatever you can dream you can do, your mind is that powerful, your body is that reactive!!

The greatest thing about your mind not knowing the difference between reality and a dream is that your brain prepares your body each time you imagine something.  Like eating, or running, or swimming, or getting kicked in the face.  Rehearsing it in your imagination each time.  Each time preparing your for that moment, that sprint, that speech.  People tell you to visualize when you speak in public, when you high-jump, poll-volt, etc.  and this is why!  You can program yourself in advance for incredible success or incredible failure.  Most of us are somewhere in between.  Be careful what messages you say to yourself, and what you allow others to say to you because each message is another little segment of programing, it brings you closer to quitting or closer to winning.  Be careful what you tell yourself because your brain is a supremely positive thing, even if we in our conscious mind aren't always.  Your brain doesn't process negatives.  So you can't say, I will not be sick, or you'll get sick.  Your brain will focus on the word sick and make it happen for you.  It doesn't process the NOT.  You've got to say I will be healthy.  Then your brain focuses on the word health and makes it happen for you!!

As the training hours dwindle, and the race draws near, I will be preparing my mind for the struggle.  As the time draws near for any event, weather it's speaking in public, meeting with your boss, asking for the promotion, sitting down with your spouse for that difficult talk, or finally opening your own business like you've always wanted to do.  You MUST prepare your mind, and let your mind prepare your body!  You are in command of such an incredible weapon, the most powerful device ever made on earth or in the heavens, the most powerful computer hooked up to the most ruthless hardware in existence !  The space between your ears is literally the crafter of the universe you live in!  It generates the thoughts, that motivate the actions, that create the circumstances, that build the life you live in!  In the past it has created nations, and torn them down!!  You are your own master and commander, you can literally change your entire life into whatever your dreams are if you start controlling and putting into action the worlds most powerful tool, the most powerful thing ever created:  You.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

5 Weeks Out

It's five week from the actual race and the pressure is on.  I think there comes a time in every plan, in every big dream or grand accomplishment, when you look at what you've signed up for and it hit's you: you are insane.  You've totally lost it, gone bonkers, no more marbles, off your rocker, headed to the funny farm, whatever.  This is the point when you actually look at what your shooting for, and for some reason you see it for what feels like the first time, for what it is.  You know it's been there all this time, but it must have been in disguise, because now you see it for what it is: a looming mountain of insurmountable impossibility.  Or at least that's how it suddenly feels.  You have to resist the mental urge to think about possible escape routs, ways out, easy paths that might minimize the effects of you quitting.  I have news for you; this is good!!  This moment is normal and actually means your on the right track to possibly pulling off your probably truly insane goal!

HERE BE DRAGONS.  That's what they used to put on the edges of the maps, the places that people had never gone before.  Complete with little pictures of demon possessed lizards breathing fire and spitting acid!  Humans are interesting really, at one point in the past we actually thought if you kept going in one direction for long enough, far-enough past the point where nobody had been before, you'd eventually come to a cliff and just fall off!  Silly really, but it does indicate one thing.  People are afraid of going where they have never been before.  Which is a smart way to be, really, when your talking about just surviving for as long as possible... but people weren't designed to just survive either, were we... So this brings us to the biggest dilema of our lives.  The truth is, we are not just afraid of going where you've never been before ... if you're honest ... the truth is ... your afraid AND COMPELLED to go there!  The question is, which is stronger?

The vast majority of the time, the fear wins out.  it twists our thoughts, actions, perceptions, logic and decisions to keep us on course to live.  It uses our very senses against us to covertly hid from us the evidence that could lead us to question that decision.  Just look at when people thought the world was flat.  You telling me that for hundreds of years people watched the ocean and Columbus was the FIRST GUY to notice the ships drop below the horizon??????  Nooooooo... lots of people noticed it, but they ignored the logical implications.  Chris on the other hand, decided on a different path.  The path of suicide.  The path of insanity.  The path of total laughable, fly-in-the-face-of-all-current-understanding.  People do this every now and then, Abraham Lincoln, Tesla, Thomas Edison, Aristotle, Newton, and hundreds of others.  If you think this stuff doesn't happen anymore, just google Cliff Young!

Ground breaking might be one option if you're going to go where no man has ever been before, but there is for most of us, another option.  Find someone who's been there before and talk to them.  In my case it's Patty and Brian.  Both have completed and IronMan in the past and both make my mountain of  insurmountable impossibility... well... surmountable.  If you want to build a business, find someone who has done it.  If you want to go to antartica, find someone who's been there.  If you want to go to the moon, start with NASA.  We live in an amazing time where people are doing incredible things all over the planet all the time!  The potential of one person to plug into thousands of incredible ground breakers has never been this big in the history of the world!!  And on top of that we've got the internet! There is nothing stopping you from crushing your mountain of insurmountable impossibility into tiny pieces and selling it on amazon for a million dollars except a decision to go for it.  Remember, you were born to be amazing, you are wonderfully and powerfully made, you have what it takes and the world needs you to go for it!!  There is no growth without risk!

Just think of what the view will look like when you look back from the top!