Wisdom from the inside of a chocolate wrapper

Categories: race, tri
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Published on: September 12, 2009

“Be fearless.”

Yup, that’s what the inside of the Dove Chocolate wrapper told me.  And it can’t be wrong, can it?

As I licked the wrapper clean of specks of chocolate (we wouldn’t want to waste any!), I contemplated this little nugget of wisdom.  Be fearless.  Without fear.  Boldly go where no man has gone before!  Uh, sorry, got carried away there.  Not quite sure what to do with this yet, I picked up yet another delicious dark chocolate goody (dark chocolate is healthy, you know), and lo and behold, more insight in the form of a shiny, red wrapper:  “Think without boundaries.”

Whoa.  I mean, whoever thought chocolate could be so smart?

Be fearless.  And then – think without boundaries.

And now’s the time of year when I have friends who are embarking upon the ultimate adventure — Ironman Wisconsin. A commitment made a full year ago that required fearlessness and thinking beyond their comfort zone.  Some are now going crazy with the taper, others are guessing and second-guessing their training, and some fluctuate between thinking they’ll fly through the day and worrying about whether they’ll make the swim cutoff. But all have taken that step to shove through the fears and uncertainties, putting in the time, sweat and tears even when the end result wasn’t so clearly in focus.

And now:  it’s here.

And I can barely imagine being in their position.  The nervousness, the angst, the anticipation and excitement.  A year’s worth of preparation, all stuffed into one glorious weekend, then into one 17-hour stretch of time.  And I admire them all greatly; some day, I want to be in their position, that’s for certain.  What courage it takes to sign up for a race like this!  2.4 miles of swimming, an interminably long 112 miles on the bike, topped off with 26.2 miles of running. Most will finish after the sun has gone down, navigating through the dark towards the high-energy finish line to the cheers and whistles of their friends and family, all who know the sacrifices it took to get to that one moment in time.

So, good luck to everyone out on the tomorrow!  You put your heart and soul into training, now’s the time for the payback

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