Had an interesting conversation at the beautician today. As conversation led into body hair and men and yes, my husband shaves more often than me! - it then went a bit like this:
Her: So he is a cyclist. Does that mean you are woken at 5am in the mornings as he heads out for a ride?
Me: Yes, but I am used to it and I just turn over and go back to sleep.
Her: I get that too when my husband goes for a surf. How often does he do it?
Me: Most mornings - actually he races triathlons so he doesn't just cycle.
Her: Triathlons! Wow! They are true athletes.
Me: Agree. Takes a lot to master 3 different sports.
Her: Does he race often?
Me: Actually we are heading to China next week for Ironman China...
Her: Ironman! Now that is not just about the body, it's about the mind.
Me: Absolutely agree - and the conversation goes on....
Her: I really admire people who can do that!
This is not the first of this type of conversation I have had over the years with people I come across during my daily routines.
It reminds me that those people who are not amongst the triathlon community or who have not had a loved one race an Ironman event are often in awe of the people who compete in these races. Some may think they are crazy to put themselves through so much training and push their bodies to the max, and they may not totally 'get it' but they appreciate the distances and what it takes to compete in such a race and view it as the ultimate test for body, mind and soul.
The effect a conversation like this has on me?
I remind myself that those of us whose loved ones are training for an Ironman may sometimes need to put things in perspective. When we are managing the daily training schedule in our lives we don't think much about what this race means to our loved one and what an achievement it is.
Using the words of current Hawaii Ironman Women's World Champion, Chrissie Wellington, it's hard work, dedication, discipline and sacrifice but it's worth it!
Wether your loved one is a Pro, a dedicated age grouper or training for their one and only Ironman event, you have to admire that they are willing to challenge themselves physically and mentally to achieve an ultimate goal and have an experience of a lifetime.
We could trudge along in the regularity of daily life quite happily but what life is about is challenges and experiences and doing something different. Although racing triathlon is not my passion, I am very proud and happy to be taken along on my husband's journey and be part of the adventure and experiences it brings to our life.