Apr 10, 2011

A Consistent Winner

Winning... No, I'm not referring to Charlie Sheen or any of his nonsensical garbage. I'll let a quote from Bill Rodgers say it all.

To be a consistent winner means preparing not just one day, one month or even one year - but for a lifetime.

Most mornings around here are the same. Waiting for our coffee to brew, we sit and chat about the days work. Everyday has a set of challenges that have to be met. There aren’t any options here. There are no “maybe I’ll move that swim until tomorrow” moments. I have a job that doesn’t cater to sick days or vacations. Looking back through pages and pages of logs, I searched for an off day. Even though I’ve made it out of the snowy Midwest, this winter still brought its fair share of adversity. Page after page, I flipped… back until January 1st. But that empty space in my training log ceased to exist. I’ve trained through sickness, injury, and infection… through rain, wind, and freezing temps… through mental breakdowns and logistical nightmares. And after it all, I’ve only realized that this isn’t anything but what is expected. This is what it means to “get work done.” It has been four months… talk to me in four years. There are no “congratulations” or “pats on the back.” I haven’t done anything but my job. Yesterday, I was an hour into my last long ride before the New Orleans 70.3. Temperatures were around 45deg and it was pouring rain. After losing feeling in my hands, we decided to stop at the Supermarket to pick up some latex gloves. While standing outside, I ran into a girl that I used to tutor with up in the Foothills. We exchanged some small talk and she started to notice the effects that the cold had on me. At this point, standing around in wet cycling gear had given me a bit of the shakes. Pausing for a second, I realized that she was finally going to say something about how crazy we were for training in this kind of weather. While opening her umbrella and stepping out into the cold, she said “Man, you look cold. Sucks you have to train in this weather. But that’s your job, right? You don’t really have a choice.” Alas. She understood it perfectly. It wasn’t crazy or brave or heroic to be riding in the freezing rain. It was our job.

I am exactly one week away from racing my first half of the season in New Orleans. I have one specific goal in mind and it has nothing to do with a time. It isn’t even specific to a placing. My goal… No. My job is to swim hard, ride hard, and then run the life out of myself. I’ll put it all on the line, and I’ll work just as hard for 1st place or for 50th place. My body doesn’t know what place it is racing for. It just knows that it needs to work. Otherwise, when I do start racing for the win, my body won’t know how to handle it.

Check out Ironman.com next Sunday, April 17th to track my race.



  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. AJ, wishing you the best of luck in NO!

  3. Good Luck AJ!! Hope you kill it in NO, wouldn't want you to get fired ;o)