March 5, 2007

One Step at a Time

Life doesn't happen in leaps and bounds. It happens one step at a time.

That little idea kept creeping into my mind yesterday when I took 10 miles worth of little steps on the treadmill.

10 miles running for me may as well have been a marathon this time last year. And I never, not for a second never had a thought of it wasn't even considering it, would have thought that right now I would be running 10 miles at a time, and 25 miles a week. Not to mention cycling for 30 or 40 miles at a time and swimming a mile at a time. Unthinkable.

Someone at work last night was talking among a group of us about running, and he said that "5 miles is nothing when you're an Ironman like DV..." Wow! Even though I am not, not yet anyway, that was the first time I received this nod of Ironman respect.

You see, Ironman is about more than the distance. More than about the 2.4 miles, the 112 miles, the 26.2 miles. The distance is the leaps and the bounds.

But Ironman is about the baby steps. It's about putting one foot in front of the other consistently, and routinely. It's about learning how to swim without a lesson, and then practicing for hours on end until you are swimming straight mile repeats. It's about finding those 10 or 12 or 15 hours a week to train when you have no extra hours to offer. It's about accepting that even though today's training session was crappy, the fact that there was a session today means progress. It's about tossing the superfluous and embracing the necessities.

It's about doing what you believe in to become what you don't know if you are.

It's like life.

And life doesn't happen in leaps and bounds. It happens one step at a time.


momo said...

amen, my friend. you know, its been a tough weekend for me and somehow, you've found the right words to help me put it into perspective. it may be slow, but is progress, nonetheless. i have to remember that.

its like... life.

Bike Chick said...

Makes you feel good when someone says that, huh? I remember the first time someone called me a "jock". I thought "who me? the book worm, the geek?" Keep taking those steps! But I don't know how you did 10 miles on a treadmill!

Habeela said...

One of my favorite stories is called "bird by bird" and it epitomizes this one step at a time idea.

Megan said...

absolutely. right on. while the actual race is always huge, its the millions "little steps" we take each day in preparation that teach us about ourselves, our strengths and our weaknesses. You said it perfectly.

And nice job on the monster treadmill run. i feel the pain...

LoneStarCrank said...

As always...well said TriJack. I love the fact that, with discipline, and a lot of hard work we are able to transform ourselves physically and emotionally into 'changed' people.

Collectively those small steps bring such change in our lives. Keep at it!

Bigun said...

yuck, 10 miles on a treamill - I feel you northerners with your fancy smanchy tradmils and bike trainers and indoor swimming pools - everyone should move to the south and train outside year round with the Bigun!

ironjenny said...

I can't wait to call you Ironman in Zurich!
Are you going to let us talk you into getting some "permanent Ironman respect" on the back of your calf? ;-)
I am SO PROUD of you already... three more months, buddy!

Iron Girl Nyhus said...

Baby steps, baby steps :) When you look back on those baby steps you will be SO proud of each and every one on of them.

RunBubbaRun said...

One step at a time, always move forward and you will eventually get where you want to go in life and in IronMan.

Two IM's in your 1st IM year, thats totaly hardcore, crazy? But dang cool.

J. Lee said...

You found me and I found you ... and perfect timing! I needed this speech after yesterday. It is only one step at a time and although I'm way behind all you Ironmen (and women!) I'm starting. I don't know that I'll ever compete, but I'm pushing past the mental barriers that scream, "no, remember, you HATE running!" each step and learning to...kinda like what I've accomplished when I'm done. One mile. 10 miles. or 26.2 I'll get there!