Greatness doesn’t occur inside your comfort zone. Here’s a story of overcoming personal struggles and self-discovery.
A New Challenge
It was around April 2014 when I was looking for a new challenge in my life.
I had just come out of completing an ultramarathon in Madeira which was a 115k run officially, however, unofficially, it was 125k total.
Despite being ruined by the run I still found myself looking for the next event to enter. A thought crept into my mind – what about a triathlon?
Now, I’ve never even done a regular triathlon, so this was my opportunity to try my hand at something that was wildly outside of my comfort zone.
Fuck it, I thought, why not give it a go?
Within a few days of making the decision to push myself to new heights, I booked my first ever Ironman set to take place in Port Elizabeth, South Africa during March of 2015.
- I paid for the flights.
- I booked the event.
- There was no going back.
I was going to make this happen – a new journey in an unknown direction. My mind was made up.
Money Well Spent
The cost for entering and booking the event was £1500.
It was that money spent that ultimately got my skin in the game.
For me, it meant that because I’d spend money on something so crazy and wild that I was now invested both financially and emotionally.
Into the Unknown
By booking the event and buying the plane ticket I had forced myself to commit to a new life experience.
You see, every now and again, we find ourselves diving into the unknown and instead of hanging around the edges of our comfort zone we take a leap of faith and venture outside of that protective barrier.
There’s no doubt in my mind that this was one of those times in life when I needed to step outside that barrier and experience something new.
New Decisions and New Changes
I decided, quite swiftly, in booking the event to leave my comforts behind.
The decision to book the Ironman event was something entirely new compared to what I was used to.
And this event, I knew, was going to challenge me in ways I could not predict nor ever anticipate.
Pushing the Limits
I was looking to do that next thing in life that would push my boundaries – The Ironman event was it.
Here is the amazing thing about taking the first step toward something of such ilk and magnitude:
- It teaches you to be fearless.
- It teaches you to cope with the unknown.
- Then it teaches you how to accept the unknown.
This was no Game
I can honestly say that the Ironman event – is no joke.
It’s one of the hardest day-long distance events known to man.
Never, Never, Never…
At the time I decided to enter:
- I had never swam for like more than an hour – as I was a relatively poor swimmer, to begin with.
- I had never been on a tri bike before.
In fact, I’d never worn cleats for cycling and I didn’t even own a road bike.
Not to mention, I wasn’t the sturdiest of people when it came to riding. I’d been known to leave myself with cuts, bruises, and concussions due to falling off. In addition, my max time for cycling had never exceeded 45 minutes.
After booking the Ironman event I was now faced with doing a 112-mile bike ride.
The thought of it struck nervousness, fear, and trepidation into my heart.
Yet the nervousness, fear and trepidation is exactly what makes taking a chance and doing something like Ironman so amazing – it forces you to go outside of yourself and just do so much more.
Charting Unknown Territory
In my personal experience, the task of going outside myself meant going to South Africa alone to do an event.
- Figuring out local accommodation and hiring a bike in a foreign country.
- Getting a wetsuit and training until I thought I could no longer stand.
- Doing all of these things I’d never done before.
What going through this type of process ultimately does is drive you forward and the implications of this in other areas of your life are boundless.
By pushing forward and charting unknown waters you now know that you’ve done things that are both harder and scarier than what you are doing today.
It’s a beautiful thing because there is massive momentum for life change when moving out of your comfort zone. So, GO for it.
Book that flight.
Enter that event.
Change your life.
Change the world.