As I try to simplify and cut back on a few of my activities, I’m always excited when I can find a way to get a ‘twofer’ or ‘kill two birds with one stone’. It turns out that I can raise money for a good cause and exercise at the same time! Ever since I came down with the flu over the holidays, I’ve had the hardest time getting back into my exercise routine. One of my ‘big kids’ has inspired me with all of his athletic accomplishments so I decided to get back into the swing of things this week. Of course, I can’t just exercise for the sake of exercising. I have to have a goal. I need something to get my competitive spirit to kick in and keep me motivated. Why not another triathlon? Heck, I’ve already competed in a sprint distance triathlon and an Olympic distance triathlon. Why not step it up a notch and go for a Half Ironman? What’s that? What exactly is a Half Ironman you ask? If I were a wiseacre I would tell you that it is half of an Ironman, but we all know that I’m not a wiseacre, right? A Half Ironman is an endurance event that includes a 1.2 mile swim followed by a 56-mile bike ride followed by a 13.1 mile run and typically has a time limit of eight to nine hours. I have my sights set on the Augusta Half Ironman in Augusta, Georgia on September 25th. After deciding on my goal, I spent the better part of Sunday putting my training plan together. The ‘real’ training doesn’t start for another month, but my coach told me that I should start getting myself ready by ramping up my physical activity.
Exercise for a Cause
Imagine my delight when my coach sent out an email today telling us about a ‘swim-a-thon’ she is organizing next Saturday. It is from 8 AM to noon and participants will raise/donate $25 per hour that they swim. The proceeds will go to our local YMCA for their Strong Kids & Communities Campaign.
I did this with my coach a couple of years ago and she literally swam circles around me. She swam 12 miles in 6-1/2 hours. I was only able to hang with her for about three hours and log about three miles. This year, I’m going to see if I can manage four hours and four miles. Plus, if I can jumpstart my training and raise money for after-school programs at the same time, I call it a win-win. Speaking of which, if you would like to help me reach my goal of raising $100 for the YMCA and I will gladly make arrangements to accept your donation!
What Motivates You?
So now you know my secret. I’m not capable of exercising consistently unless I’m training for some ridiculous endurance event. I am crazy competitive and the thought of pushing myself to the limit in order to see how I compare to other middle-aged chicks in wetsuits is what motivates me to train at 5 AM every day. I don’t think that’s necessarily a bad thing. Maybe we all need a ‘carrot’ to entice us to push ourselves just a little harder and not to accept mediocrity. I could probably just sit at home next Saturday morning and stick a check in the mail to help the YMCA, but where’s the fun in that? Anybody can write a check. How many people can swim for four hours straight?! In many ways, I think life is about pushing ourselves as hard as we can so that we can make ourselves better and if at all possible to leave this world slightly better than it was when we entered it. There are lots of other things besides athletic competition that motivate me — like my family. However, my greatest motivation comes from within. I want to be the best that I can be — all the time — in every way. It’s a tall order I know, but I’m no slacker! Just ask my coach!!