This weekend there are hundreds of scared and nervous people in Port Elizabeth. They are partaking in Ironman South Africa, a 3.8km swim, a 180km bike ride and a 42.2km run. All but a handful of the 1800 of them will finish. All but a handful will have lots of excuses for what went wrong out there, too.
I am a simple guy when it comes to these things. Sure, I am blunt and I am rough at times. Insensitive by societies standards and not as compassionate as the majority of people would like. Whatever. I haven’t achieved what I have by being nice and having excuses all the time.
This weekend the amazing race takes place. You will go through places in your mind and through experiences within that you may never have thought possible. I urge you to bring to excuses in your arsenal of weapons to race day. Bring the hours you spent out on the roads training your mind and your body. Bring the ability to make the right decisions, which you so carefully worked at over the last six months. Bring your sense of humor, which I hope you found out there training because let’s face it, you`re a little bit crazy, aren’t you?
Things may go wrong out there and elements beyond your control may affect you on the day but if you look back and see excuses, then perhaps the day was not all it could have been.
I promise you there is a guy or 10 out there who could have far more excuses than you possibly have. What about the triple amputee who finished in Kona last year? What are his excuses?
(I know the video is a little thick on the cheddar but it’s Ironman week, so no holding back on the emotional stuff!)
There is someone who sacrificed more than you did, who had to probably sell something of immense value to them to afford the entry or possibly who slept in their car the night before the race because budgets didn’t allow for hotels. These people exist, I promise you. They have no excuses and do the best they can with what they have.
So go out there on Sunday and be all you can be. Be smart, above all. Focus on pace and nutrition. If you can master those 2 simple things ALL day, you will have no excuses. Stay focused and remember those 2 things and the excuses will vanish and you will get lost in the moment in what is truly an amazing day away from the world. Get lost and be amazed at what you are doing, what you are achieving.
No excuses. Take that with you and be one of the handful of guys who gave it all without a “but”. So when you`re standing there at the start line and the guy next to you has that look of fear in his eyes, that inevitable blank stare…
Pat him on the back and tell him to breathe and that he is going to have a great day, with no excuses. You could be changing his life, right there.