Two weeks ago, I almost signed up for an Ironman. And I’m not talking about “I considered it for a brief moment and then realized that would be insane, so I let the moment pass.” I had all the credit card info entered. Was on the last page of the registration. Fingers shaking. And I couldn’t press the button.
Just kidding – so, I’ve always wanted to do an Ironman. Even before I’d ever run a marathon. and now that I’m getting a bit burnt out on marathons and looking to make the switch to triathlons, of course the You-Must-Do-The-Thing-You-Think-You-Cannot-Do person in me immediately sets my sights on the Big Kahuna. And coincidentally, the inaugural Ironman Tahoe registration was opening right around this time! It was 15 months away – the perfect amount of time to train, really. I already have the bike and run base, and am a decently strong swimmer. I immediately thought of all the reasons that OMG-I-MUST-SIGN-UP-FOR-THIS-NOW!
- I’ve always wanted to do it.
- It’s in Tahoe, the first IM event in CA in a very long time – no flying required!
- It means I’ll have a great excuse to spend tons of weekends in spring and summer 2013 in one of my favorite places in the world (the lake)
- I’ll see my family more as it’s my Tahoe jumping-off point.
- I’ve always wanted to do it.
- IM training might help my struggle towards work-life balance by making me sleep earlier and be more motivated for workouts
- I might lose those pesky 5 pounds
- If I don’t sign up the day it opens, I won’t have the chance until September 2014 – so far away!
- Did I mention I’ve always wanted to do it??
This is pretty much exactly how my personality works. I get really obsessive with things that I all of a sudden want to do and sometimes don’t react completely rationally. I talked to my parents as I had everything filled out and they are the most supportive people in the world, and they asked me some tough questions and brought up some really good points.
- My life is a bit unstable right now. I travel a lot and remain conflicted regarding exactly where I really want to live
- My job is demanding and opportunities for international travel are arising, which you can’t really do with an Ironman training schedule
- I have a lot going on and this could end up being a source of stress and anxiety instead of something really exciting
- The costs (both financial and time) are very significant – and I don’t have a lot of extra money or cash right now
- There will be other Ironmans that I can do at a better time in my life when things are calmer.
Now I hated hearing every single word of this. Because they were right. When I want to do something I want to do it RIGHT NOW, which is impetuous and spontaneous but often has the ability to hurt me. What really made me lose out of that window and not sign up after a heart-racing hour of trying to decide was the travel option. I’m actually on a work trip to India right now. My company is going more and more global, and maybe next year I might have the chance to visit several other countries. This is what excites me and what I want to base my career around (international business in some form, preferably in developing countries). And if in the middle of training I got the opportunity to travel somewhere for some time, that would become a source of stress – can I miss training? Does my hotel have a treadmill? What about a pool? Oh no!! – and so on. And who knows, maybe this time next year I’ll be working on a cruise ship in Brazil or trekking in the Himalayas or relocating to Amsterdam – I really have no idea. And that’s not the best time to sign up for a 15-month training schedule.
I often live like each day is my last, or I try to in terms of how I make decisions. (Tell me “oh, I’m just going to do this miserable job for ten years to pay off debt and I’ll be happy later” and prepare to get an earful regarding how exactly you know you still have 10 years.) But in this case, it’s right. And it’s the perfect reason for me to start a blog series I’ve been wanting to do for over a year now: 30 by 30.
You’ve probably heard this list in many different forms through blogs and other vessels of self-reflection but now that I have less than four years until I turn 30 (3 years and 11 months to be exact…) I want to really start moving towards accomplishing some life experiences that I’ve always wanted to do before I’m 30. So here we have 30×30 goal #1:
Complete an Ironman.
Phew! That felt good. I’ll be posting continuously about the rest of the goals (and progress towards) in the next year. And starting a blog tab to follow along. : )
Some of the goals out there for sure:
- Run a sub-4 hour marathon
- Learn to drive a stick shift well
- Learn to ride a motorcycle
- Go skydiving
- Visit 30 countries
- Visit Nepal
- Visit Costa Rica
- Learn to play the guitar
- Write a book
- Know who I am and who I want to be
- Ditch processed food habits for good (soda, granola bars, protein bars, etc.)
- Take a family trip
- Figure out what I want to do with my life
- Work internationally
- Perfect my Portuguese
- Start surfing in the Pacific
- Schedule sleep and exercise reliably
- Visit New Orleans
- What are your goals for the next few years of your life?