I Will Not Apologize…..


Source: Dan Lew

I will not apologize for being who I am to anybody and part of being who I am is being competitive.  And I am not talking about just sports, but I am also not talking about racing against others.  I am speaking about being competitive about beating myself.  I get up each and every morning ready to train and create a better athlete than I was when I went to bed the night before.

In the past month I have been called a masochist and crazy amongst all the other terms because I enjoy the Ironman distance.  I enjoy swimming for miles on end, and riding my bike for 4-6 hours and follow that up with a 5 mile run.  To me this is fun and to me this is the competitor in me coming out.  I don’t want to do just one Ironman I want to do dozens of them and I want to keep pushing my limits.  The envelope I own has no limits.

I have faced my fear of swimming in the open water to the point that if I don’t swim a sub 35 minute mile I am not happy.  I wonder what happened and I try to better myself during my next training sessions in the pool and out in the open water.  I enjoy getting out there when the sun is still hitting the snooze button and feeling so refreshed when my training is done.

A couple of weeks ago I was watching an interview with Duke Basketball Coach Mike Krzyzewski when he was asked about LeBron James winning the NBA Championship with the Miami Heat earlier this year.  His response hit me like a ton of bricks.  He said that the Championship will do one of two things:

  1. It will light the bonfire that will push him to win more championships.
  2. It will extinguish the fire that he had to win one championship.

I thought about this for a long time and thought about how people told me I would be exhausted and tired and burnt-out after my first Ironman.  Did I feel this way and was I just going through the motions for Ironman Arizona?  Was I tired of the training?  How was I approaching this training cycle?

Then it hit me that I am Answer #1 and not #2.  When I crossed that finish line there was gasoline poured onto my Ironman bonfire and that match was lit.  I am not satisfied with having done just one.  I want more and I have already planned out next year because this is my passion and I am competing with myself to get better and better.  I have learned from my training cycle for IMTX and am applying those lessons to this cycle.  Learning never ends but the smart move is applying those learnings to your actions so you can get the most out of yourself.

Will each race result in a PR?  Of course not, and I am not dumb enough to think that, but what each race will do is teach me a lesson.  A lesson that I am far more capable of accomplishing this distance than even I thought initially possible.

If you see me out there swimming, biking and running please challenge me.  I may lose, and I may win but in the end I will be better than I was before I started and that is my competitive side.

Back in January of 2011 I wrote another blog post regarding being a competitor.  The title was Is There A Competitor In You? and it captured my thoughts and ideas before completing the 140.6 distance.  After having done an Ironman I can say not much has changed and if at all possible I am more competitive.  How is that possible?

Do You Compete?  Do You Have A Friendly Rivalry?


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  1. Jessie says:

    I am very competitive. Mostly with myself~ I think when people see an endurance athlete they dont understand the part of “we enjoy it”! I think it is all relative and as long as you are enjoying yourself then great. I get the same thing with not eating junk food. People say I starve myself or that I am extreme…. But really I dont miss eating poorly! It is all relative~
    Jessie recently posted..girls night outMy Profile

    • CTER says:

      so 100% true about eating. Even my wife and I had a discussion this weekend when I said I didn’t want to have a cupcake because it had buttercream on it. I do everything I can to avoid dairy so why would I eat that and she knows it. She told me that I needed to relax about it and with that I sent her a zucchini brownie recipe…..it is awesome, it was chocolate and no dairy. And the best part is that one serving is barely over 200 calories. Thank you vegetables.

      BTW – I saw your post about your long run and noticed PB2 in the picture. I love that stuff in my Herbalife shakes. So good!

  2. IronBob says:

    You bet!!
    My rivalry is to see you or Jeff beat my IMTX bike time!! :) (I gotta have something, even if it is historical to hang my hat on)
    I can say that now that I am a biking slacker and would (and have) gotten completely humiliated on the bike by Jeff and extremely jealous of your run time!!
    IronBob recently posted..English Channel ArnieMy Profile

    • CTER says:

      I am registered for IMTX in 2013 so I can gun for that bike time…..what was that time anyway? I’m being lazy and don’t want to look it up……

  3. Laura says:

    Hell yes! I am a big competitor of myself. I am finally getting a bit faster so once I see those changes, I just want more and will keep challenging myself.
    Why not? Life is short…

  4. Jen says:

    I am competitive and I think that most of us who do any form of race is.

    I think it’s been a crux to my journey to be able to track my improvements whether it be distance or time.

    I compete against others in my age group, others on treadmills at the gym, others at the park – most of all I’m always competing against myself, taking on the challenge to get better.
    Jen recently posted..A great day for a 5K: Race recap of Teterboro 5KMy Profile

  5. This is MY biggest problem. I am insanely competitive with myself and well now that that is gone from me I’m not sure how to make peace with that. :) ~Nora
    Once a Runner recently posted..Just a Peek?My Profile

  6. Natasha says:

    I need challenges in my life to keep me going and that’s why I race. If I become stagnant then other parts of my life suffer. I was a little burnt out after my 1st IM and I did fewer triathlons for 2 years after that but I never stopped doing other sports. It’s a lifestyle to me and that will change forms over time but I like to think I will always stay true to the lifestyle, whether it’s a really hard hike I’ve never done, skydiving, or getting the courage to try another IM!
    Natasha recently posted..Adventures in hiking and riding!My Profile

  7. IronBob says:

    5hr 20 minutes, I think…. I don’t want to look it up either
    IronBob recently posted..English Channel ArnieMy Profile

  8. Tim says:

    I believe that to be a true endurance athlete no matter what your sport, you must be competitive with yourself. If you cannot push yourself, then who will? I honestly don’t know where I would be I my life if I weren’t constantly striving to better myself. It started with running, but I caught the TRI bug and now I cannot get enough!
    Tim recently posted..The Ability Tour Ride for AwarenessMy Profile

  9. adena says:

    I’m no competitor, I want to finish but I admire the hell out of your drive and determination. I’ve always said race day is my least favourite day on the schedule, in fact I’d rather just go do whatever distance/sport with a bunch of friends than ‘race’.

    we’re friends why?? xoxoxoxo

  10. lindsay says:

    preach it brother! :)

    i am also very competitive against myself and have gotten comments on my blog from time to time about how i “beat myself up” too much. then of course lately with the primal/paleo stuff… i know it’s just people’s opinions but it’s still a little irritating because A) i’m not suicidal, i just have high standards for myself and if i want to say i suck then dang it i can. and B) i eat way healthy right now! 1200 net calories sure sounds low to most of you, but i am not working out at that level currently and it’s plenty for me (+ the fact i’m trying to trim down). obviously that will increase when i return to beloved running and all :)

    anyway, keep fueling your fire and doing your thing! obviously it’s working.
    lindsay recently posted..then and nowMy Profile

  11. katie says:

    I read this when you first posted it but I had to come back and say AAAAAHMEN!!!! I WILL NOT APOLOGIZE.

    I don’t think you are crazy at all. That might make ME crazy.
    katie recently posted..three things thursdayMy Profile

  12. Mike says:

    No apologies necessary! You found something you are passionate about and are going for you. That is awesome, simply awesome. Keep up the great work!

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