top of page

Enjoying the journey not the destination lesson from my husband

My husband loves a challenge. He is one of those people who will start biking and then it becomes too easy; he has to bike over 100 miles. Once that does not challenge him, he has to do a triathlon even if he does not enjoy running or swimming as much. He starts to do some triathlons; then he finds out about Ironman and now he wants to try that.

He signed up for half Ironman (Total distance 70.3 in miles (113.0 km) covered in the race, consisting of a 1.2-mile (1.9 km) swim, a 56-mile (90 km) bike ride, and a 13.1-mile (21.1 km) run) around 6-7 months ago to do one on June 1st. This is his 5th one.

The discipline that goes into training to do this race is crazy incredible. I am not kidding when I say "I get tired watching him". He trains 6 out of 7 days for hours. He watches YouTube to get better at his swimming strokes. He gets into these training programs with coaches to get better and better every day as the Ironman day approaches. Only one month left he got covid so he had to recover from that too and he does not panic at all. He always does the best he can.

We fly to the destination renting boxes for his bike breaking it into small pieces, carrying every little equipment, gear, clothing he needs for the race. It is no easy task to pack all of that.

We arrive a few days earlier to get used to the weather. It is much warmer, humid, and windy. Ocean is rough. He trains more without depleting his energy to save it for the race day. He attends briefings for athletes. We are in this beautiful place with lots to explore yet he is always focused on task at hand. Stays crystal clear about his why. 

The race day comes. He wakes up at 4AM. We are at the start of the swim by 5:20AM with more than 1,000 other athletes. It is a scene that is worth experiencing. You get inspired by each and every one of them. You are excited and anxious at the same time as a spouse. All I care about it he is healthy at the end. He already is my Ironman by signing up for it. Just to say “I want to do this, pay for it and train for months are all very impressive to me.  It is a long, tough journey for sure. 

They all go in the water and they have at the most 8.5 hour to finish. The only transition I got to see him was when he finished swimming and started his bike ride. I heard him say the ocean was rough and then as I looked around I know it was going to be a very windy day as they climb some hills.

As a spouse or as a spectator you can follow them on an app. It is wonderful and nerve racking at the same time. You can track them which is great yet when you don’t see that little tracker moving, you are worried.

After around 5 hours or so I got a text from a number I don’t know that told me my husband left the race and is waiting for me. I immediately asked if he is OK. The guy said yes. I went to find him. You feel great that he is OK, at the same time I know how much he trained to do this so it feels sad that he could not finish it.

That is where my admiration for my husband takes over. Although it was a difficult decision to make he always does the right thing. Not only that but he also adapts very quickly. He told me it was rough for him; the winds were too much where he could not even take a hand out of the handle to drink his water; he knew at some point he would not finish on time and decided to leave the race. He said this is what he does for fun; he does not make money out of it, actually he spends a lot to do it, so he would not risk his health. Thank God! He is thankful that he was able to do the 5 hour piece of it and experience this new Ironman location.

It makes me think of what we hear  all the time “it is all about the journey, not the destination”. He exemplifies that with his actions. He had to leave the race one other time when he got sick. This is easier said than done. I am not sure if I can handle it this well. I would at least cry a bit. He tells me it is not about his ego or what others will think. He was even joking around saying "why be bad in one sports when you can be bad in three". 

Every time he has a goal and works so hard for it; I am watching him closely. Not only to see his determination but also to see how he handles the curve balls thrown at him. I get inspired each time and want to believe I am learning how to enjoy the journey without being too hung up on the outcome myself. 

This applies to our life and our search for the work we love too. It is an amazing journey to find out more of who we are. I believe it is the whole purpose of life: being and living more of who we are. Doing it for our own good; not for approval, not for our ego. It is the biggest freedom we can ever have.


bottom of page