Sometimes you don’t need a finish line to have the journey.

8 Sep

Today’s blog comes to me after a morning phone call with one of my athletes and then an after of deep random thoughts.

As a coach, as an athlete I so often speak about “The Journey” and then the race being the carrot the prize at the end of it all. I think the real joy often times in racing and doing long endurance races like Ironman distance (140.6) Triathlon is the training, the long many months of training and hard work you put in, the sweat, blood, tears, laughs you share with friends and teammates and people you train with. The journey the ups and downs, the good days, the bad days and the in between days; early morning wake up calls and all the sacrifices you make along the way to prepare yourself for race day.

We all focus so much on the race it’s self and that’s good truly we want that race, the goal time, the finisher medal all of it! That really brings us joy and confidence. But many times when you train for long distance event things can happen along the way, road blocks or sometimes road closures! Things that either slows us down and we have to overcome or things that flat out stop us in our tracks and don’t allow us to finish the journey or maybe compete in the race and get that carrot we have been chasing.  Injuries are most often times what takes us out of the game! Injuries happen no matter if you are an age grouper or an elite no matter if you do everything right or you do some dumb stuff it’s just part of life, it’s just part of training and racing.

This morning phone call was with my buddy Stu, and Stu has been training for IMWI but couple weeks ago Stu found out he has a fractured sacrum and the pain is intense as you can imagine. Now for two weeks Stu has been wrestling with do I still try and tough it out and do IMWI? Or do I just give up and rest heal and get back in the game faster. This has been a tough thing to answer for him. Of course the smart thing, dude rest!! And heal and forget about IMWI and just get healthy, then the other side is dude it’s Ironman!!  Toughen up and go earn that $650 T-shirt and medal! You can do it and how bad ass is that to say you did IMWI on a fractured sacrum. So there you go the two thoughts going on. Well after a lot of soul searching I’m happy to know it sounds like Stu is going to make the smart choice the one the voice of reason angel is making and that is REST don’t do IMWI and risk more damage to yourself. The reward for doing IMWI is small compared to the risk that could happen during such a grueling race in the condition he is in.

So this is where I speak about “The Journey” and how the journey is what this is all about! Stu can to experience an amazing journey that began back in January. Stu got to make loads of friends this past 9months training, share in 100 mile bike rides with friends, long early morning swims, some running miles, beers, concerts, funny text chains and even some racing all in prep for his big day at IMWI. So people as you enter into long distance events like an Ironman know things can go south and things can take you out of the game or slow your game down. But know that if you embrace the journey embrace the comradely with the people you train with, if you log the miles, build the fitness and have months of fun along the way but get within reach of home plate but just can’t quite get home and do the race it’s OK. Yes it will sting, yes it will make sure sad but find the positive in it, think about the journey think about all the great moments you shared with people with yourself as you prepared for that race and then smile and be at peace. This won’t be easy to do I know, I’ve been there and understand these things but I do know we can’t control many things, and I do know failure happens more than success but if we shift our thoughts our mind to look at failure as a positive we can become stronger, smarter, better and be much happier! And I’m not saying that Stu or anyone who does not make a start line after the journey is failing. I’m just saying that as an athlete we might think that way and so we have to take the negative thoughts and spin them to positive ones.

We have to reflect back on all the things we enjoyed along the way and that if we did not commit to that race that then prompted us to hire a coach, join a training group, make new friends with people training for same or similar events we might have missed out on a lot of fun, on life! And it’s this that I call “The Journey” and why the Journey is so powerful and so special!

So hopefully you all stay strong and healthy and reach your start lines, achieve your goals and success! But if something happens and spins you off course and stops you dead in your tracks hopefully you got to experience a journey along the way and can find happiness in that.

Best of luck!


Coach MB 

(photo is from this past summer The Journey of Stu, Manuela and I post a 100 mile ride)




One Response to “Sometimes you don’t need a finish line to have the journey.”

  1. Becky Youngberg September 8, 2016 at 9:42 pm #

    Stu I think you are making the right decision. Rest and heal up and make a new goal! Stress fractures are nothing to mess around with. I have had 3 and from my experience they will not get better without the proper rest. Stay strong and focused! I know you will make a comeback. Becky Youngberg

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: