September 3, 2010

The beauty in the madness…

We can rehash about last week Friday’s post here and the madness and how it’s all just a part of life. I could also tell you that you probably haven’t placed your vote today, but get to that after reading this post first. I have been wondering about the madness of it all this week, especially as I was doing my absolute best to physically break the treadmill on Monday and Wednesday (note to self: treadmills hurt) and then again when I got home last night after slowly falling apart in the last 400m of my swim last night (3rd packed bag for the day – woo hoo!). I wondered if there was anything beautiful in it all, the suffering made look good? What is it in us humans that we love watching the faces of people in that moment where it hurts like hell but the competition is ripe like the smell of a trapped miner in Chile after a week or two underground.


Take this photo for example. You see a Thunderbear in full release. The guy is so excited its palpable in the photo. Its not pretty. I would imagine the noise that came from him was Chewbacca-esque and sounded like it was being played backwards in slow motion. Here is what you don’t see…

This is a guy who would only record the training he did “in the zone” – he did not measure warm-ups and cool downs. He ran with an ice glove, in full longs after years of research in chambers being pricked and prodded to work out he had a cooling problem – fatal for Hawaii. He worked meticulously at his running for years after being the strongest biker in Ironman. You don’t see that. You cannot imagine that the release is a part of all that. He didn’t even win – this release is a release of overcoming, which is why its one of the most beautiful madness pictures there is.


Hawaii is pretty, right? This picture is 28km into the run at Ironman Hawaii. In battle in the right of the picture are Craig Alexander and Andreas Raelert. You can’t see Chris Lieto ahead somewhere. They are chasing him. There is nothing to distract them in this picture. The Energy Lab is stark, its ugly, its bare and raw and its hot and windy in there. It’s a place which saps energy from you like a hungry swarm of mosquito. Ironman is a lonely sport. If you can’t work that out in this picture…


Again, in the Lab. Potts has on granny socks and has a waterbottle perched in his bum and at this point is making the 2km stretch (uphill) out of the Lab. He has recently lost his father-in-law. On his right show, the name of his father-in-law reminds him to keep going. As he approaches the finish line, he removes his shoe and points to the name. It’s been a break through race for Potts. He has his reasons. Have a dig into the emotion and find your power when you are out there.


One of the most powerful photos for me. You see Lieto, just been passed for the lead at World Championships. His face shows utter despair, his entire year he has only thought about winning and suddenly he is hanging tight for second. Fellow pro Lovato has stopped on the opposite side of the road to watch his mate being passed and you can see in his face that he knows its over for Lieto. Crowie looks only forward, I think his face shows he is running scared, that he is at his total limit as well. His form though, perfect. It an ugly picture if you`re a Lieto fan, a beautiful one on being the pro’s pro if you are a Crowie fan.


The story behind the story and the beauty in the madness. Go out there and find it this weekend. It’s out there. Find the wild eyes and the scary moments. Turn them to work for you and don’t look back. Just keep the pedals turning, the arms moving and make sure to keep the nutrition going. You are so much more than you know…

2 Comments on “The beauty in the madness…

Vincent Nortier
September 3, 2010 at 12:57 pm

Awesome post! Bloddy awesome post!

September 3, 2010 at 1:31 pm

Goosebump, tears and tight throat stuff ! Thank you ……………. truly awesome and beautiful xxx


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