Life Lessons from an Ironman Triathlete: Chapter 3
Love will ALWAYS come first
“All you need is love.”
As I started this journey, I told everybody about my dream of one day doing an Ironman Triathlon, and especially the World Championship. I also told people what it consisted of: a 2.4-mile swim, a 112-mile bike, and a 26.2-mile run. People thought I was crazy. “Why would you do that?” “That’s impossible!” “You can’t do that, you don’t run!” When I heard those words, it made me sad, but I realized that people were putting THEIR fear into words — their comments weren’t about MY Ironman journey, they were about their inability to consider doing such a thing.
When I told my Grandpa Gaskin — a WWII vet and PurpleHeart Recipient — about wanting to do the Ironman Triathlon in Hawaii, he looked at me and said, “When you go, I will go with you and cheer you on.” It was a very simple act of love. It was my grandpa just telling me, “Yes, you can do it.” My grandpa had a love of fitness himself, but I didn’t realize that until I got older. He was still swimming with his buddies at 89 years old, until 6 months before he passed away.
When I did my first Ironman Triathlon in Wisconsin in 2002, I had my mom and my best friend cheering me on throughout the day. They were there at the finish line with open arms, waiting for me and giving me LOVE. Three years later I married the man of my dreams, Chris Rulon. We met in San Antonio, at a swim group training for triathlons. What I love about our journey with triathlon is that we found love with each other. Heck, our honeymoon was spent doing Ironman Western Australia, just south of Perth. Then we headed over to Sydney for our “Race-Cation.”
We’ve all grown up differently. Some of us have been surrounded by unconditional love while others have not been surrounded by
love at all. Depending upon your own experience, you may question the lesson “All we need is Love.” While we may or may not have external love that comes from family, friends, spouses, partners, etc., we cannot forget about the biggest love of all: To Love Yourself
As you take this journey into your life, whether you are 8 years old or 88 years old, you need to learn to love yourself. This can be a hard task for a lot of people, as it is easier to love others than it is to love yourself. So how do you work on loving yourself?
Here are five tips for you to work on loving yourself:
- List one of your positive attributes on a Monday. Focus on it all week, then shift to another one each Monday that follows. By the end of the year, you’ll have collected 52 positive thoughts about yourself. (Ex: I love my smile, my nose, etc.)
- Take some time for yourself, even if it’s only 5 or 10 minutes. Read. Listen to music. Enjoy time in the woods or at the beach, or head out for a run.
- Do things that make you feel good. If it doesn’t feel right, don’t do it.
- Don’t compare yourself to others. This is a tough one for a lot of people. Head back to #1. You are ORIGINAL!
- Let it go! Think of the iconic words from the movie Frozen. Let go of all the crud that’s in your head — thinking that you’re not good enough or strong enough or fast enough — is counterproductive and damaging. You are enough!
Hang tight, as we have more chapters coming up!
Interested in grabbing my “Life Lessons from an Ironman Triathlete” book from me, as I will sign seal and deliver? Click the photo below!