I am currently reading a book called iron Cowboy-Redefine Impossible by James Lawrence who is probably the best athlete of our time in the world.
It’s funny I was at the doctor’s office the other day and they were talking about you can’t just run a marathon without training it. Well, technically that’s not true. You can do it. It would just really be tough. I was laughing because I always do that. I ran two half marathons not having trained at all. Not something that I would recommend but more of a challenge to push my mental limits in how much pain I can endure. I am strange that I love to do this and see the value in doing this quite often.
I sometimes will go to Crossfit 6 days in a role just to push myself and see if I can do it. I would not recommend doing it though.
After reading this book I want to commit to running a marathon doing another century. I was so sad that I hurt before the Philadelphia Marathon after my friend gave her bib because she couldn’t do it. I really felt like I let her down. Sorry, Claire! If you ever read this.
James Lawrence wrote a book called Iron Cowboy (his nickname) for doing 50 Ironman triathlons in 50 states in 50 days. This is probably the most impressive thing accomplished in the history of the world at least in my opinion. I might be biased because I am really into Crossfit and endurance races. I was reflecting and thinking to myself. One of my greatest abilities is actually my endurance. I noticed during workouts and my speed is decent but definitely not compared to everyone else. I think I am improving my endurance more by doing some of this things.
I will share some parts of the book that really resonated with me.
He said that the hardest part was really just getting up and just doing it.
His motto is really just one more. He just thinks about one more especially with all of the blisters, injuries, and ailments that doctors have warned him he would be without a leg or any feeling in his body.
In the beginning of the story, he talks about a competition where you would have to sit in a Ferris wheel for 10 days. He was the winner of that challenge early on in his life.
I thought was interesting to see that he always had a knack for being able to endure whatever it takes. I feel the same way sometimes. When I was doing a century (100 Mile bike race). I virtually did not train the furthest I biked before that was like 14 miles or something like that. Riding my bike to work in Somerset, NJ from New Brunswick near cook college. I saw that so many people were using painkillers and I luckily did not have to even use Tylenol. Don’t get me wrong I was certainly sore afterward and my thighs swole up. It doubled in sized. All of that lactic acid was building up and the recovery was pretty painful. However, it was one of the most amazing memories ever. I definitely feel a sense of purpose when I am doing really fun challenges such as hike for 14 hours straight when we hiked in the Adirondacks in the mountains. That was definitely one of the hardest things I ever have done in my life. One of my strengths is my positivity during it. It’s funny to notice how I cringe when people complain.
One of the most valuable things I have learned from coaching is to notice how certain things trigger me for instance when people complain. I die a little bit inside. If I was to guess I think it was because I am always reflecting about how fortunate we in the US to have all of these opportunities but everything is relative right? Why am I being negative about people being negative? It’s not helping me out or anything else out by doing that.
Anyways, his purpose is so much bigger than himself. He talks about how his children are what keeps him alive and during the toughest and darkest days.
Whenever he sees any of his 5 children and his wife he gets a sudden boost of energy. (I felt the same way during the Spartan race at the end when I saw my girlfriend, my heart literally skipped a beat.) (That’s how I know she is the one!)
The way they work together and the teamwork he has is incredible. He always talks about how we couldn’t have done it alone, which is funny considering technically an Ironman is all about personal growth and pushing your discomfort limits by yourself. I do notice the interactions I have with random people and the unity you feel with you do something really uncomfortable with a group of people the bonding that comes with me.
The people I meet internationally during these races I instantly feel a sense of connection. I guess being a part of a tribe of some sort. It’s hard to explain but those of you who do Crossfit or people that would consider us crazy for doing the Spartan Races and similar types of events
So he talks about childhood obesity and how a lot of the classmates of his 5 children are really obese. They are all extremely young. I can certainly relate to that as well being a Nutrition major growing up in my undergraduate. It really resonated with me when I started to learn what I am putting into my body determines my mental health and determines so much of what I am capable of.
Growing up eating really unhealthy just not having the knowledge coming from a much less educated family. I don’t blame them at all but I can certainly relate. They were literally just trying to make ends meat and provide for the family.
I love Jame’s stories because he always brings it back to a higher purpose and talks about all of the lives he touched. People that have lost 150 to 320 lbs. They have been inspired by his mission whenever he had supporters he got a boost of energy knowing that this is something more than just a challenge for him. It’s not the world record he was chasing it was actually to raise money and to be a part of something greater than himself. The charity is working with is the Jamie Oliver Food Foundation.
Reading this definitely made me reflect on giving back to the society is the times where I feel the most fulfilled is when I am giving back to the world as well.