A Step in an Iron Direction

I have a friend who likes to think in terms of “when was the last time you did something for the first time?” Life has provided me with a lot of those times in the recent past – some welcomed and some not at all. Here’s a thing, though. If a first-time event is in your thought processes, do it. As Henry Ford said, “Whether you think you can or you think you can’t, you’re right.”

The possibility of doing a half ironman occurred to me in the summer of 2014, but I kicked the idea out because, ya know, swimming. Not JUST swimming… more than a mile of swimming. In open water. With lots of people. I’d done Masters swimming for 8 ½ years before I decided on my 50th birthday that it hated me, so I was leaving it. Done.

Then. That half ironman. The idea kept growing, and two friends in particular pushed me to hit the registration button. What the what. Was I really gonna do this????? I immediately asked a young friend who is a triathlon coach to take me on (ahem, high maintenance). So the journey began.

I had had my life ripped apart during this time and wasn’t sure I could really handle everything. But. Half ironman training wasn’t NEARLY the hardest thing I’d endured that year, so WHY NOT just DO IT?!?!

Of course Charlotte, NC, experienced probably our hottest summer on record which made training oh-so-NOT-fabulous, but what doesn’t kill ya. Oh, and did I mention swimming?? Yeah. Had to. It wasn’t pretty. At. All. But again… what doesn’t kill ya…

Towards the end of my training, I would run and become teary with the possibility that I was REALLY GONNA DO THIS THING!!! I envisioned crossing the finish line and just felt such immense joy. So along came September 25, 2016… RACE DAY. I must mention that the triathlon community is made up of the friendliest and most supportive people I know. I’d abandoned a brief triathlon stint seven years prior to this and truly loved the relationship experiences I had made during that time.

I am so humbled by my squad of support. The people who remain in my life are the best. They are God showing Himself to me daily. They were THERE, some physically and some in spirt. This does not need, nor do I want it to be, a race report, so I’m omitting race details. Truly, those aren’t that important. What IS important is PERSEVERING. P E R S E V E R V I N G.

And that is how you do something daunting for the first time.

Caroline Arey

One Response to “A Step in an Iron Direction

  • Great post. I laughed too; swimming ? You’ve done a great job with this site!! Really proud and so happy for you :))

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