TRI – Life


Jamie likes sport. His bi-line at the moment is “Lifes too short to do one sport”. On the top of his sport list is cycling, running and swimming. We have sat and watched him compete in many events – so when he came home and said “Mom, I want to enter into the Corporate Challenge?” my answer was “How much?”.

Jamie and his friends are also hectically competitive, almost, no, definitely, to a painful degree. Not only against each other but to any random poor soul who may cross their sporting path.

Anyway, back to the Corporate Challenge, this event is a tenth of an Ironman. It is held a day before the Port Elizabeth Ironman so, since the whole of the PE beachfront is geared for the Ironman the people competing in the Corporate Challenge get a real taste of what it is to take part in a really slick and well organised event.

We stay at friends the night before, and Alan – being an experience Ironmanner gives the boys pointers of what to do, how to stick by the rules, what not to do and in general how to have an amazing experience. Never once did he say to the boys “you have got to watch out for competitor #10” or, “you must try and beat competitor # so-and-so”.

When we get to the event there are literally THOUSANDS of competitors and spectators. Everyone is happy, everyone is obeying the pre-race rules, everyone is being helpful and everyone is being nice to each other.

The race starts in batches of (I think) 200 people launches into Hobie Beach surf – on a perfect PE morning. No-one pushes, no-one shoves, no-one tries to edge in in front of another – in fact 1 000 plus plus plus people enter into the water smoothly and happily.

Spectators cheer, the announcer spurs all and sundry on based on their race number, everyone cheers for everyone else.

Competitors swim, cycle and run – with some hectic transitions in-between and, at the end as the competitor ran through the tunnel of people they were announced, applauded, given a medal and of course the obligatory Coke.

Jamie comes out of the holding pen – after pumping hands with a million strangers, and boy is he pleased as punch – he did it!. Never once did he ask me “is so and so back?” or “did I beat so and so?”, he was just so happy he had finished what he set out to achieve.

This challenge was about personal achievement and not about how well he did against his friends – his friend Josh did come in front of him.

So …… where am I going with all of this. Well it is easy, we spend a fair amount of our precious life looking at that green grass on the other side. Sometimes it is so easy to forget our own achievements, no matter how big or small because we are worried about what another has got, done, done better or got more or sometimes less.

Cooking a great meal for your family is a great achievement, but sadly it probably will not turn you into Nigella, but hell its going to make you into a hero in your family and friends eyes. We are all heros and we do not have to do an Ironman, but rather set ourselves achievable goals which may just push us outside our comfort zones, and once we achieve them we can give ourselves a medal and work on the next goal. Worrying about the oke on the “green grass” just wastes valuable energy that could rather be used in achieving what you want to achieve.

Its all about doing your best, and that means YOUR best, and believe me your best will be good enough.

I say TRI-life instead of tri-and-see-what-everyone-else-is-doing-life and we will all be ironmen and women in our own right.

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