Sunday Sept 25th
Two weeks after the Wisconsin Ironman. Poof! After it was over I dove back into work with such a focus that I did not include time to finish my IM blog. In one sweeping statement that does not take into count the mental and physical struggles of the day, I met my goals . The weather was fantastic, all my IM friends had solid races, I experienced no technical difficulties, I avoided collision during the ever so crowded swim, I won my age group and I passed my IM Hawaii slot down to an excited women who came all the way from New York to qualify. Most importantly, the ever so happy and cheering crowds and volunteers made Madison the most fun IM event ever. Everyone was SO helpful, so enthusiastic and I just absorbed all the energy of the spectators. Additionally my fun friends back in Mpls who also supported my efforts brought so much cheer to my event.
So I am done! What did I take away from training and completing the Ironman? For sure I have an appreciation of health and strength, mental and physical. Some of it is earned and some of it is god-given. Keeping my legs moving thru the 26.2 mile run engaged a mental determination to recognize that even the smallest of steps towards a goal will eventually get me there. Perhaps that is my most important take-away. When I become overwhelmed with obstacles thrown at me while running a small business, if I work hard, put in smart planning and take positive movements forward, I most likely will achieve my goals.
Finishing Ironman Wisconsin after a five year hiatus also taught me that to be successful I must adjust to change. Achieving this year’s IM goal was different than in previous years when my body was not so stiff, my muscles were not so tight and my workout priorities were more focused. The consideration and adaptability necessary to get thru this Ironman can be applied to meeting work and family goals. Nothing remains the same. I could not train like I did five years ago. My body needed more care. I had to be creative on how I chose my workouts so to not abuse tender knees thru too many brick workouts and I had to protect a stiff back with additional core exercises that took away from cycling time. The way I can continue to keep Gear West successful requires the ability to see new ways of doing things as well. I must use the wisdom gained from 30 years of retail while recognizing what I need to learn or whom I need to hire to move retail forward in the age of Amazon.
There are so many ways to motivate oneself and to continue to learn little important life lessons. I do not need to keep repeating Ironmans to keep myself in touch with pushing one’s physical limits and embracing change (!). But fighting complacency is necessary for me. I will continue to push myself in different ways, but the Ironman sure did make me feel alive, and reinforces the lesson that directing effort into accomplishing something challenging brings the greatest rewards.
-Posted by Jan Guenther on Oct 11th 2016