With a powerful enough why, we can endure any how.
I’m paraphrasing Victor Frankl, who lived through the horrors of Nazi concentration camps, writing about his experience in Man’s Search for Meaning – a must read, in my opinion.
Action-taking must be built on top of a sufficiently powerful drive.
When starting out as a personal trainer, I felt incredibly insecure giving myself ‘endurance training’ as a speciality, with only a handful of half marathons under my belt. Now sure, I am deeply curious about the outliers, about the people that achieve extraordinary, almost impossible feats of endurance. But do I have the knowledge to help people?
This insecurity drove me further, grinding out k’s and k’s. I entered Geelong 70.3 in Feb of 2016, at the time as a stepping stone onto a full 140.6 mile Ironman triathlon.
The 12-weeks up to Geelong were obsessive. I was at uni, finding time was never an issue. 3x swims, 6-to-12 hours cycling, 2x runs plus an over-the-top strength training program.
I was fit, don’t get me wrong. Probably the fittest I’ve ever been, in the context of doing the same things over and over for a long period of time.
Finally filling this role as an ‘endurance athlete,’ I felt legitimised. Being extreme gave me a sense of expertise.
Insecurity. Feeling uncertain about my self worth as a trainer, athlete, friend and person. I believe the “more, more, more” mentality did not fill the hole of self-doubt, rather it fanned the fire.
On completion, 2-3 days of bragging rights felt pretty good. But overall, naturally I was disappointed. I hadn’t become a superhero rockstar triathlete. I was still Marty.
Using sport or endurance or events to fill a hole in self-worth and in creating my own image was doomed to fail from go. Coming at finding myself from insecurity naturally disappoints.
It’s filling a hole that can only be filled internally.
Am I happy I did Geelong 70.3? Sure, I got to experience something not many people do. But the cost might have been too high..
Check out the book I recommended here: