I’ve heard this question a number of times, from various people. Since my life does very much revolve around race schedules now, and goals, a short answer to the question is “Beach to Battleship.”
The longer answer is: right now. That’s only one word, but it’s a longer answer. Tomorrow is always my next event. Today is always my current one. Someday I want to cross the finish line at an Ironman. But I won’t suddenly become someone different that day. I will slowly become the person who can achieve it, day by day.
In a recent race, I heard someone say something very insightful, which could fit on a bumper sticker. “The thing about endurance sports is, you can’t cram for it.” To get to the point where I can do something that was impossible for me in the past, it takes consistency. It’s not about “race day” with an event t-shirt, a bib number, and possibly even a memento on a ribbon that we pretentiously call a “medal.” Transforming from doughboy to ironman happens as regular movement becomes part of who I am.
Today I ran a usual loop around home, 3.5 miles. It was the 10th day in a row that I ran. I took up a challenge with some others on BT to do 30 runs in 30 days. Minimum run is two miles. So far, most days are just about that, two miles. But Saturday when I took a long run of eight miles that included the beast known as Ridge Road, I felt strong afterwards. I’m mixing up the running, sometimes on a treadmill, sometimes on an indoor tracks, but mostly trying to stick to my preference, the open road.
So my next is event is tomorrow, and it’s today. I’m living it right now. I’m the RD of my own life, and just like an event with hundreds of others on a Saturday morning, it’s all about continuing to put one foot in front of the other.