Between the Corrals – The Ironman Experience
It’s pre-dawn and the day is young. The feat ahead seems daunting and impossible for those in the arena and the bleachers alike. The veins are flooded with dopamine and angst, yet the greatest hurdles, discomforts, and successes are still to come. The uncertainty, the doubt, the pride, the passion and the unknown unknowns.
The road to the Ironman start line is a journey in and by itself. The work, the commitment, the hours, and the discipline is anything but effortless. Nothing is guaranteed, yet one thing is certain: The person entering the swim corral will not be the same one that exits via the corral 140.6 miles later.
While the training lays the foundation of a lifestyle, it is the experience between the corrals that steers our life in a new direction. It is these uncharted waters where we find who we truly are. What we are capable of and the existence we were always meant to live. Something you must experience to understand. Tangible, yet indescribable. A mere 24-hour window just like tens of thousands of others we will experience, yet this one is different. It will NEVER be forgotten. Regardless of the outcome, a day that will forever be hardwired into memory.
An arena stretching 140.6 miles filled with gladiators – all fighting their own battles. Over those 140.6 miles and hours between the corrals is where our boundaries become blurred and the foundation of who we are becomes clay. Malleable and shaped by our effort and discomfort alike. Molded by our desires and dreams. A rare opportunity to reshape our very existence. From what we perceive to be possible to a new version of ourselves where boundaries are mere lines in the sand washed away with a wave of expanded potential. A journey that is one day in reality but years in the making. A journey only those that spend hours between the corrals will ever experience.
The journey of the Ironman.
Editors note: Andrew played professional football for the NY Jets and completed Ironman Arizona with the support of Coach Joe LoPresto of Experience Triathlon Coaching Services.