Ironman: Make It Count
Saturday is New York’s first full Ironman. An Ironman is a 2.4-mile swim, 112-mile bike and then a full 26.2-mile marathon. You have 17 hours to finish. During the race, athletes burn around 9,000 calories and lose up to seven gallons of sweat. I know because I’m bit of a triathlon groupie. My dad competed for years and now my husband does – often getting up at 4:00 AM to train before work.
What draws people to such an extreme sport? Mark Allen, six-time Ironman champion, once said, “The Ironman is a test of people within themselves. It’s so difficult, it works slowly inside you. It forces you to open up your eyes a little bit and your soul.”
I don’t know what inspires everyone to compete, but I do know each has a unique reason. For my husband it’s a way to heal after his brother and many colleagues died on 9/11. Extreme loss requires extreme healing. I say a line of my friend Anya’s “survivor” poem to my husband before every race: “Make it count.” To us, this means make it have meaning. It means be safe. Breathe. Rejoice. Remember. Celebrate. Heal.
Here’s to Saturday’s Ironman competitors. Make it count.