As our plane approaches the unsuspecting venue of the 70.3 half ironman I can’t help but look back at this journey.
It’s been a physical, emotional and spiritual one that has significantly marked my life.
From day 1 when I blindly and naively signed up for this auspicious event, reading the terms and conditions, noting that I couldn’t substitute or pull out at a blink of an eye when the pressure got too much. That was it…
“What’s your sport” people would ask cynically at training. “What made you sign up” friends would ask through crazy eyes. My answers were very simple (and once again so naive)..I don’t have a sport. Not a runner, used to swim at school (like everyone) and oh yes I don’t have a bike yet, but planning on getting that! And why, cos I want to…My answer would follow with this exact thought “DAMN, What am I doing?!!”
So as I do I jumped in full tilt. Entered 100 k cycles- still soothing my bruised ego after trying unsuccessfully to cleat in at the bike shop. So there I was cycling races, unsure of how to cleat in, spending 5 hours in crazy heat and hurricane winds. I would prevent stopping so that I’d avoid the humiliation of falling at the robots in my cleats. It’s actually ridiculous thinking back…and that was literally two months ago hahaa.
The running was less hassle and something I could just plod along at.
The swim, I guess that’s not bad…I’m used to the sea and the distance is just boring.
And yet here I sit…hundreds of kilometers under my belt, thousands of rands out of my pocket, hours of self motivating to get out of bed at 4am, to get through a tough ride focusing hard on “the power”, to drag myself back to gym late in the evening after a 14 hour day at work. And I could not be happier. The groups of friends I have made, nay, the team mates (MacRoyalLand springs to mind) are enough of a reward. When you spend 4 hours cycling followed by 2 hours running, your training buddies become your soul source of entertainment, your motivation, your best mate.
I don’t know how I got to this point…perhaps fueled by solid support by family and friends, a mind as stubborn as an ox and the undying will of wanting to complete this challenge. Oh and a dash of pride 😉
Here we go…landing in East London in 10 minutes…no turning back now 😀 “what the hell am I doing?!”