The Power of watching someone realize their Dream!
I watched my sister realize her dream over the weekend. She is an Ironman! 140 miles via swim, bike and run in one day. I have to tell you…it was the longest day I’ve had in a long time so I can’t imagine what she was going through. It was dark when she started and it was dark when she finished. But she finished. And that is the only goal when it comes to Ironman. Just get across that line in the time allotted. And she had 35 minutes to spare! I’m so proud of her.
Michele started running about 10 years ago and moved on to triathlons about five years ago. She has been chasing the Ironman dream for several years. She has done numerous half Ironmen competitions. She attempted a full Ironman competition about two years ago and missed her cut off time for the bike ride. But did she give up? No, she kept training and learning from what stopped her in the past. She worked harder, she trained smarter, she ate better. She did whatever she had to do to realize this dream of hers. And she did it! As with everything, it didn’t happen overnight. You don’t wake up one day and decide to do an Ironman. Especially when you are a bit older. You have to plan for it, you have to work for it, you have know what you are doing. And then you get to recover! Which I saw sarcastically because I asked her yet again why she wanted to do this as I was putting band aids on her back the day after to help stop the bleeding from all the chaffing that resulted from this goal.
There is such a power to watching someone realize their dream. Especially if it is such a big dream that is done so publicly. It gives you fuel for your own dreams whatever they may be. It makes you realize if anything is possible. If I can watch someone cover 140 miles in one day I can get this little business of mine off the ground. It sounds like a piece of cake compared to what she did. But when the tough gets going I will remind myself that I know there were parts during her run when she was battling with her will to get to that finish line and she made herself do it. That is the thing with realizing your dream. You often have to talk yourself into continuing. It took my sister 16 hours and 25 minutes from start to finish. How many conversations do you think she had with herself to keep moving? How many times do you think she felt despair and knew she had so much further to go? But she did it. She told herself what she had to in order to keep moving. She told me my advice popped into her head at moments when she asked herself what three things she is grateful for in that moment! See? I was part of the big dream! I helped!
My husband and I were there to cheer her on and give encouragement whenever we could. I got to speak to her several times during the day and she never gave up hope. I saw her a few miles into her run after she had already finished the swim and bike portion. She didn’t seem so happy at that point and I asked, do you think you will finish. She responded with; “oh, yeah.” There happened to be a man on the side of the road overhearing this conversation whom we didn’t know. When I asked her if she thought she would finish he yelled; “Yeah, she’s gonna finish”. It was a great atmosphere. The support of the spectators was amazing.
People wanted these amazing athletes to succeed. They yelled and cheered and waited and followed them around. This is what people will do for you dream, whatever it may be, if you surround yourself with the right people. Like my sister, there will be times when no one will be there such as the lonely times of her bike and run when she just had her own thoughts. And probably just when she needed it most, we were there with signs and cowbells and screaming words of encouragement. This is how it works. You need a village. But there will be times you will only have yourself to count on. You must keep moving. It can be so tempting to quit but if you can keep going, there is glory at the end of the day.
I’m so super impressed that my sister, my sister!, was able to do this. The whole experience was amazing even as a spectator. I’m glad I got to experience it. She has not inspired me to do such a thing myself but she has shown me how hard you have to work to get to that dream. That even when you fail, you don’t as long as you learn from your mistakes. That you keep going no matter what. That there will be dark moments. There will be times you want to give up. And that is when you need to keep holding on till you get to that next cheering section. And at the end of the day, you finally get your due. She got her medal, she was given accolades from many and then she sat down with a turkey hoagie from Wawa. And then she got to drift off to sleep effortlessly with a big smile and the greatest satisfaction.
What is your dream? And how can you make it happen?
Listen to me discuss this topic today on my daily podcast available at Hopefulist.com, on Apple, Spotify, YouTube, and TuneIn. Just search for "The Hopefulist"!
Please check out my website. It’s your one stop spot for everything “The Hopefulist”. Hopefulist.com.