There was something amiss as I crossed the finish line. I had just completed a 140.6-mile journey of swimming, biking and running after almost a year of complete focus on training. Ironman Wisconsin is one of the more challenging courses with hill after hill on the bike route that pretty much wrecks your legs for, well, yes, a marathon to follow. For a person who is goal-oriented, I thought hearing Mike Reilly’s chant, “You are an IRONMAN!”, would be a moment to covet. But, in the end, I honestly, was just glad it was over…and I knew immediately, I would never do that again.
I should have known. The training certainly wasn’t fun, the stress on my personal life BIG, and having to balance work with training felt like I had a full AND part-time job. So why did I pursue it, to begin with? Well, as I stated earlier, I’m goal-oriented. When you’re looking for lofty goals, Ironman certainly fits the bill. So I tackled it…and accomplished it. But it was driven by my feeling that if you set out to do something, you JUST DO IT. Methodically work through boundaries and obstacles and move on. Did it make me stronger physically? YES. Did it make me mentally tougher? YES. Did it resonate with my soul? Ah, NO, not even close.
It can be a subtle or significant difference between accomplishment and fulfillment. Subtle if they align, significant if it’s just a checkmark. What if your focus was fulfillment and you felt this intense energy at working toward hard goals because they were meaningful on a deeper level? Are there goals you can just let go of so you can focus on things that really matter?
For me, this website is an exact illustration of fulfillment for my soul. Sure it’s an achievement, but at the core, it’s about me sharing what I have learned so that it inspires others to succeed in their own lives. Henry David Thoreau said, “Go confidently in the direction of your dreams.” I agree. Dreams = Fulfillment. JUST DO IT!