It’s most Ironman triathlete’s dream to go to the Ironman World Championships in Kona, Hawaii. Some triathletes are fast enough to qualify year in and year out, and others will do 12 Ironman triathlons and try to get into through the legacy program. Then there are the charity fundraising slots. It was my plan to age up into a slot where I could be fast enough to qualify and be an old guy who thinks he could race.
A good friend of mine ran it by me that I should try and raise $50,000 to race in Kona. That’s right, the Super Bowl of triathlon. He was able to raise it for his 2016 race, and immediately thought of me for 2017. My first thought honestly was, why me? As we spoke it became clear that my story is such an inspiration to many, and that I deserved it. As we spoke more I shared my concerns in that $50K is a LOT of money and that I’m not sure I’ll be able to do it without A LOT of help. I’m just not a good fundraiser. We spoke some more and I told him that I would think about it and get back to him.
SmileTrain is a charity that fixes cleft palate for children around the globe. I mean who doesn’t want to help kids smile? Shouldn’t everyone have a smile? Those of us without cleft palate take for granted what a smile does for us. A smile tells others how we feel without having to physically say anything. A smile that we see on others makes us feel better when we’re having a bad day. Personally, I love making people smile. It doesn’t matter what the age is.
The seed was planted. I immediately started to think about it, and weight out all my options. I questioned myself, cause my gut feeling was to do it. I was pretty much afraid of failing. It was a huge leap, but I couldn’t ignore my gut. I’m always preaching to my clients that they need to get outside their comfort zone. You can’t let the fear paralyze you from making a choice. I spoke to my mom about it, she’s always been my biggest supporter and she mentioned that I’ve always found a way to overcome every challenge that I’ve taken on. She was right. I’ve overcome obesity, alcoholism, self-confidence problems, and most anything that I’ve put my mind to or decided to accomplish. I’ve got a killer team helping me with this and plenty of support. I deserve the chance to continue to inspire others and embody the mantra of Ironman “Anything is Possible”.
So what’s next? Well, first will be a strategy pow-wow with my team. First though I still can’t believe what I just did.