I’m a firm believer in the power of the mind. If you put your mind to something, and approach the task with diligence, heart and soul, you will achieve it. And, in doing so, you will become a different, changed person. I say this as a precursor to my post today about the power of the mind and perseverance.
Tonight – a gorgeous night I might add (and we even ate on the patio … in September!) – G, Blee and I met up with two dear friends – Maddy and Laura. Tonight was a celebration and a goodbye as Maddy has given up on Toronto and shall move to Vancouver at month’s end, and Laura … well ….
There is irony we opted to meet at the Old Spaghetti Factory as 5 years ago this was the place that G, Laura, Maddy and I first got together. I had known Maddy for a couple years and she wanted to introduce us to a friend of hers, Laura, who was interested in triathloning.
We met, we chatted and Laura held us in a sort of awe, amazed we would dare attempt an Ironman Triathlon (I should note at this point, we were only doing sprints and had just started to train for Ironman Lake Placid). I said what I always say regarding Ironmans, ‘it’s 15% physical, 85% mental’.
I remember Laura saying she couldn’t run 5 minutes without stopping. I remember Laura joining G and I during the Sunnybrook Hospital Run for Research in 2002, a 5km run, and Laura being unable to complete the race. But, inspired, she carried on. Laura was with G and I through the journey that was our training through 2003 and 2004 in preparation for Ironman USA Lake Placid. She joined me in July 2003 after we completed the Peterborough Half Ironman and celebrated our success with an Alaskan cruise (a cruise that, sadly, G missed due to his crazy work schedule). On that cruise, via email, over the seas, G informed us he had won coaching for a year from Joel Filliol, the coach of the Canadian Olympic Triathlon Team. On that cruise, we decided Ironman USA Lake Placid would be a goal. And I seem to remember Laura saying at the point, she hoped to complete a race one day too.
In July 2004, Laura travelled down to Lake Placid with us, she was there volunteering at the race we competed in. She was there to support and celebrate with us as G and I crossed the finishline as Ironmen.
And, again, I said: “it’s 15% physical, 85% mental”.
Laura moved out to Mississauga and we saw less and less of her. But she continued training, regaling us with stories of her training when we met up for the theatre subscription we shared. Last year, she registered for Ironman Canada.
On August 25th this year, G and I remained glued to the computer most of the day as we followed Laura’s progress over the 4km swim, the 180km bike ride, and the 42km marathon run.
And then, 16 hours and a score of minutes after entering the water, Laura crossed the finishline at Ironman Canada and came to know the triumph the mind can achieve over the body. Laura joined the club, the Ironman Triathlon finisher club … and gawd, I could have cried.