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January 10, 2012

We are having fun yet?

It is that time of the year again when the nerves are up for Ironman 70.3 Buffalo City. In the last week I have come across 15-20 people who are doing the race in some way or another and I am left wondering how many of them are going to truly enjoy the experience.

Those whose first race it is will typically tell you, without provocation, that they are not ready. They may even tell you that they are not even ready to suffer and they will definitely tell you about the work they have not done for the race. I wish they would tell me about the goals they already conquered, the miles they already endured and the changes they have already experienced.

A few 2nd timers have told me that they know what to expect and what it takes to finish, so they are just going out to race with a smile and finish. I love their attitudes.

The few top guys I have spoken to are just as amazing as I remember them. Here’s a typical interaction between someone I am racing and myself, someone who is up for an age group podium/win.

Me – “Hey”

Me – “Hey. Looking ripped bro, racing 70.3?” (All said whilst carefully analyzing body composition, movement and looking for the racers eyes).

Top Guy – “Jaaa, racing but who knows, been a while since I hit it out, Christmas was overindulgent, but yes, I am going out to give it everything”.

Top Guy – “You?”

Me – “About the same really, should be a great race. Excited you are there.”

Both – “Kiff, let’s hit a coffee ride soon, otherwise see you in Slummies”.

We both leave knowing that it’s going to be a cracker of a race, looking at what the competition looks like. In East London, there are 5-7 guys in my age group alone, who could take the win. I reckon we`ll be no less than 3 minutes apart at the end of the day. I am just happy to be a part of that caliber of racing, mostly coming out of the Western Cape, where a few of us have really pushed the Privateer racing class over the last 5-6 seasons.

I love laying it all out on the table and seeing who comes out tops. It doesn’t affect our friendship – all it does it reinforce the immense respect I have for these guys. The Greg Goodalls, Jean v Wyks, Marcel Roos’, etc. They are my peer group, the guys who love to race, love to train and embody the lifestyle I choose to be a part of.

Are we having fun yet gentleman?

Absolutely.

+++

If it’s your first race at 70.3, I want you to make a checklist of the number of ceilings you`ve smashed in the last 6 months…

1. Furthest swim, bike and run 6 months ago versus now in training?
2. Body composition 6 months ago versus now?
3. Toys owned, 6 months ago versus now? (cheeky, but I love toys).

There is much to celebrate even before you hit the start line and you should be doing just that.

The video of Jan Frodeno has done the rounds but I thought to include it today as its pertinent. It shows that the work done merely moves as you get better. It shows that to be the best, you have to go beyond what you can currently even believe possible because for someone, its the norm.

What will your norm become? I am asked all the time why I train so much, why I choose to push the limits so far, why do these stupid things? Why? Why? Why?

This is why…

This is not a math test. I do it because all bets are off. Because when the race is on, I am loving the idea that someone is going to flip the script and take us all beyond our norm…

This is why…

There is only this moment. Afterward, we all get to celebrate. If the moment is yours and I am there to witness you rip it away and take it for yourself, I am happy to have seen it. I am just plain stoked to have been a part of it.

But I will chase you…

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