The arrow of time points only forward, never backward, and so I find myself swept away into another week. Around me, people are on their own fitness journeys that also need to be celebrated.
I’m truly proud of my Endure Multisport teammates who trained hard for their first ironman at Ironman Gurye, but for different reasons were unable to finish the way they wanted to. One was rammed by a larger competitor during the swim, which set off cramping that never abated. She finished the swim using only her arms (thank God for the wetsuit, which I had lent to her), and then pushed through the bike leg, cramping all the way until the organizers pulled her off the course.
Another took a wrong turn and missed a loop on the heart-shaped bike course, only realizing it as he came into T2. But as the organizers permitted him to continue on the run, he finished the marathon vowing to get it right in his next race.
On the face of it, these look like “failures”. But you see the small triumphs: her finishing the swim even disadvantaged (it was her biggest fear), only stopping when she didn’t meet the bike cut-off; his confidence stoked when understood that he was capable of doing the entire distance next time. I’m just glad both of them are safe and can fight again another day.
Last week, I was asked the question: “How do you stay motivated to run?” My full answer you’ll be able to see in that interview, but the gist of it was that you stay motivated when you celebrate the small achievements. Being able to exercise even just a few minutes most days of the week, ticking off the days as you go — this is a small victory easier to rack up than, say, running a 10K if you’re time- or fitness-poor. I think also — and this is something I learned from Kuya Kim Atienza — we need to be so aware that being able to run or exercise or do something for our personal health is a blessing. This attitude of gratitude helps me view every opportunity to do so as a joy, rather than a burden.
So, I hope that this week you find joy in your fitness pursuits. I know I still do.