Just in case you missed the news Tina Tannery and I were off last week to Augusta Georgia to participate in the Augusta 70.3 Ironman Triathlon.
The triathlon was a success.
After we finished, we shared the news of our success with family and friends via text and social media.
One comment that resonated with both of us was from a fellow advisor and Ironman.
“Congrats on completing something most people couldn’t even fathom! Welcome to the Club!”
We did attempt and we finished. We also encountered two life lessons that impacted us and I want to share with you.
70.3 miles is the total distance of the triathlon. A 1.2-mile swim, a 56-mile bike ride, and a 13.1-mile run.
I, in my terms, crushed the swim in the Savannah River. I swam as fast and as straight as I have ever swum in open water. Transitioning from the swim to the bike I was pumped.
Finishing the bike ride nearly 10 minutes ahead of my personal set goal I was certain I would exceed my personal goal of having my time be less than seven hours.
Off on the run, my first mile was on pace. I was feeling good. That is when my body abruptly reminded me that I was overheated and out of energy.
Life Lesson #1 – Surrendering is not giving up
At mile 1, there was no ice in the water station. I was there as they were waiting for more. I was overheating and needed cold water and ice. I took water and Gatorade and moved on. One-hundred yards later, I stopped running and began to walk. My legs would not go.
Surrendering does not mean quitting. Surrender means to let go. Surrender means patience. To surrender means to be power filled. Giving up means powerless. Surrendering requires courage. Giving up is driven by fear.
After a slow walk of 100 yards, I surrendered and accepted that this run was crushing me and I needed to accept and change plans. Finishing was my only option. I thought of the Olympic speed walkers and began my best imitation. Arms pumping and feet stepping.
By surrendering I allowed my body to cool, regain my legs and run more.
What do you need to surrender so that you can pivot and move toward where your potential lives?
Life Lesson #2 – The Impact of Community
What is your community?
Tina and I traveled to Augusta as a team of two. Dedicated to supporting the other in any way we could. Driving there we shared the driving responsibility every two hours to make sure that neither one of us carried the load for the other.
Arriving on Friday and immediately getting in line to pick up our registration, we were introduced to the “Community” that was with us all through the triathlon weekend.
When I say “Community”, I am describing the volunteers, the athletes participating, the Augusta citizens and all the family and friends who came to support the athletes.
The community started with the 1,400 volunteers. A ratio of approximately one volunteer to two athletes. Everyone was there to assist and support the athletes in any way they could. If you have ever stayed at a Four Seasons Hotel and experienced the way a Four Season’s employee goes out of the way to make your stay luxurious, then you would understand the volunteer’s attitude and responses.
2,750 men and women athletes participated in the triathlon. Most are just like you and me. Support surrounded us in every way. As Tina waited with her swim wave group, she observed a woman begin to cry.
That evening on the Augusta 70.3 Facebook group there was this post.
“I want to say a huge THANK YOU to the women in swim wave 9, gold caps/AG 40-44. I was the person crying in fear of swimming about 5 mins to start. Everyone near me gave most encouraging and comforting words. I’ve had a lifelong fear of drowning and started taking swim lessons in early 2016 (never intending to do triathlons). I’ve done few OWS this year but all with either wetsuit or personal safety buoy. This race was the first OWS without any mental safety net. While few seaweed monsters grabbed me and some alligators (aka faster swimmers of later waves) bumped me, I managed to swim without major panic. Some of you even recognized me on the bike and run, providing more encouragements which totally made my day! You all are amazing athletes and THANK YOU!!”
The Community was there to support everyone. There was no judgment about your size, shape or fitness. During the race, the volunteers were always there and allowed us to focus on them and not the race still ahead of you. Neighbors came out of their homes to cheer, offer water, M&M’s, music, sprinklers to run under and even a cold spray from a water gun. They were cheering if they knew you or not. (On the run, it helped that our name was printed on the race bib)
As you made the turn to run down the red carpet and through the finish line they called your name and filled your ears with applause.
Once you finished there was the medical team, a massage team and more volunteers handing out food and drink.
The volunteers, the athletes, the Augusta citizens, and fans created an incredible community.
Where is your community and what are you doing to support it?
We learned a great deal about commitment and consistency as we trained, learned new skills and grew as people and athletes.
We are grateful for the ability, good health and support from our family, our office team and our coach that allowed us to achieve this goal.
Now, we are taking these life lessons and applying them to our daily life as woman, man, wife, husband, friend and professional advisor.
To all our supporters, stay tuned, I am sure there will be another adventure in 2018. (Want to join us?)
For a look at the day, we experienced in Augusta Check out this race day recap. Big thanks to all of the Volunteers!
Michael Tannery CPA CDFA® AIF® ● CEO
Be A Financial Olympian