“The beatings will continue until morale improves”

Beatings continue until morale improves.  It seems contradictory, why would someone’s morale improve if one is being beaten?  That doesn’t make any sense, does it?

There was an article in the NY Times that caught my eye :(www.nytimes.com/2010/10/19/health/nutrition/19best.html?_r-2&ref=health)

This article talks about an athlete’s mentality.  The mentality needed to complete a task big or small.  The mentality needed to grind through the last 8 miles of a marathon even though your body tells you to stop.  It’s the mentality needed to prepare oneself for what is to come, and once you get there to know that you will keep going.

I don’t think I have the world’s strongest mentality.  But I am relying on my mental fortitude to get me through this.   By all means one shouldn’t wake up and decide to do an Ironman three weeks’ later.    However, while it may not be probable, it certainly is possible given the right mentality, physical background and preparation.

I’ve played soccer ever since I can remember.  While of course playing a 90 minute game is not nearly the same as spending 15+ hours in the water, in the saddle, or on your feet.  But I am relying heavily on my endurance. For those who know me , I do not claim to be the fastest player on the field, nor the one who can jump the highest but I do pride myself in being one of the fittest players out there. 

Mentality.   How come Tiger Woods performs in the clutch while others choke? (say what you want about his personal life)  Why could Lance Armstrong win the Tour De France 7 consecutive times? (again say what you  want about his personal life)  Why could P. Diddy/Puff Daddy/ Sean Combs run the NYC Marathon in 2003 despite being a fat slob? (no offense puff, you’re the man)

Mentality plays a BIG part in all of the abovementioned examples.  That is not to say that it is the SOLE reason, but a BIG one. 

I am envisioning every single aspect of this race.  Starting from the flight to Orlando and ending when I cross that finish line.  I am preparing myself for absolute bedlum in the swim with hundreds of people jostling for position at the start.  I expect to get kicked in the face at least five times and expect my goggles to break, and I expect to have to swim longer than 2.4 miles (since I’ll most likely veer off course at some point). 

On the bike, I’ve only recently learned what it means to “clip in and out.”  I expect to fall multiple times.  I expect my legs to throb and ache after mile 20.  I am trying to imagine how sore my lower body (my @$$ especially) will be after sitting in the saddle for 5 hours. 

I can see myself getting off the bike and wanting to collapse.  Instead, I’ll start trotting along even though my legs will likely be cramping, my skin chafing, and my bones aching.  The run will be the easy part. 

I am under no false illusions here.  The weather will be 88 degrees and sunny.  I have never been in a body of water longer than an hour, I have never sat on a bike for longer than an hour, and I have never done a marathon after already exerting myself so much.  However, I do know that I will doggy-paddle my way on the swim, walk the bike 112 miles, and crawl 26.2 miles to finish if I need to. 

I just hope I do it in time!

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