As a kid growing up, Mom use to say, "Don't push your limits young lady." I think what she meant to say was, "Don't forget to push your limits." After all, in order to do our best and be our best, we need to push ourselves to do what we never thought possible!! We have to find those boundaries and push ourselves beyond them.
Growing up, I would have never dreamed I would be training for and competing in an Ironman competition!! During the training for Ironman, I have been and will continue to test my limits both physically and mentally. By pushing my limits, I am hoping to achieve levels of physical fitness and discipline I didn't even know existed!!
What limits do our bodies and minds really have? We won't know until we push ourselves to find them!! During an Ironman competition, women compete with no advantage over men and I wouldn't want it any other way!! We will all start together as the gun goes off. One massive school of sharks waiting to attack their prey. The swim start has been referred to as a rugby tournament in the water or a loaded washing machine on the spin cycle...complete and utter chaos in the water. After the swim comes the long and daunting bike ride where you not only have to fight the terrain, environmental elements and your mind, you might also encounter the spit, snot or urine of your fellow competitors if you get in their "line of fire". Once the bike has been safely stashed back in transition, you have to find your legs and begin the long and arduous run where you have to constantly remind yourself to just put one foot in front of the other.
Through all of this, you must stay properly fueled and hydrated. This can be very challenging!! Trying to find fuel sources that have enough calories and don't upset your stomach takes a lot of trial and error. Everyone responds differently to fuel sources, so what works for one person, may not work for someone else (bonking, cramping, diarrhea, vomiting...all of these have the potential to come with improper fueling). Proper fueling and hydration is yet another example of testing our limits and finding out what our bodies can handle, can handle well and can't handle at all...
You might ask, "Why are you voluntarily doing this to yourself." The answer is simple...I am pushing my limits!!