On Sunday (9/11/2016) I embark on Ironman 3.0. In any ordinary year, an Ironman commitment will throw a person's life out of balance. Admittedly, I am out of balance, swinging my arms on the edge. But I’ve always liked being on the edge, this feels normal. This year, my Ironman pursuit is blurred by the other priorities in life… from work obligations to city council, from Self-Help International to family commitments... this is what I love, operating at capacity. Oh, and that Iowa House thing! I do my training when others are sleeping (before dawn and way after dusk), my days are occupied by work, my evenings are dedicated to door knocking, at night I catch up on council and IA House duties. Family fills the gaps. I would rather redline than look back with regret.
These are tests of physical, mental and spiritual fortitude. Succeed or fail, the real accomplishment is in the journey to the test. The hours, hunger, fatigue. The highs of good, the lows of sluggish days. These words apply to both the Ironman and Iowa House race. This time around, the campaign is more challenging than the race, and that says something. I am taking both journeys in stride and will be happy with any result as long as I make it to the finish line because I have given it my all.
This year, Ironman training is just a routine matter, the Iowa House campaign is the unscaled mountain. My swims are chug chug chug chug like a tugboat. I don't think during the 2.4 mile swim, I just want to be done. During 112 miles of biking, my body fuses into the simple bike machine happily converting potential energy into kinetic energy. I love the pedaling cadence, the blur of the road, and the rolling intervals of effort in the uphills and inevitable downhills. The running turns joy to misery, but the likable kind. From my running delirium, comes my most profound thoughts on politics, philosophy, economics, history and beyond. While striding, I get lost in thought while they get filtered and purified into ideas of substance. So while it is pain, it is productive, it can even be tearful, but it is always worthwhile.
So while I'm under-prepared for an Ironman, the training has served as a valuable diversion from the biggest challenge facing me… taking on the two party system, to deliver a unifying vision for Iowa to voters, to build a platform of independent, reasoned, yet bold ideas versus worshiping at the altar of a party platform. Oh, and I get to take the weekend off of campaigning!
My goal in life is the pursuit of great experiences (good and bad) and fulfillment, that I have given more than taken from this world. To do it on a local, state, and global scale in business, politics, and civics. To break down barriers of achievement and forces of oppression. Everybody has their own mountains to climb. I don’t recommend climbing two or three simultaneously unless you also like the redline. But as long as you are climbing, you are elevating yourself and all around you. It's not about the finish line, it's the journey.
UPDATE: I finished :)
Swim (2.4 miles): 01:17:18 (Hr:Min:Sec)
Transition 1: 00:11:44
Bike (112 miles): 05:27:09
Transition 2: 00:06:14
Run (26.2 miles): 04:24:21
TOTAL TIME: 11:26:46