My oldest son Kellen raced the Austin Ironman 70.3 this weekend. Ironman 70.3 starts with a 1.2 mile swim, followed by a 56 mile bike, and ends with a 13.1 mile run. In his words “that was brutal”.
The final portion of the race, the run, is often the most challenging. A few miles into the run portion we had our first opportunity to see Kellen. As he ran by we could see he was in pain. His eyes had that look, “I can’t go on”. We just kept yelling “we love you, you can do it”. As he slumbered by I felt a sickness in my stomach. I’ve seen too many give up in these moments. Much worse are the almost unavoidable feelings of self-doubt that can linger on, well beyond the race. I offered a quick prayer “Please Lord, give him the strength to finish”. A moment later I knew what I was supposed to do.
On the loop back I ran out in front of him. I put my hands on his shoulders and looked him in the eyes. I could see they were beginning to swell with tears of emotion. I said, “Son you can do this. You are stronger than you know. You have done your part. Turn the race over to God. He will get you through”. I slapped him on the butt and yelled “Now Run”.
On the drive home from Austin, and with the medal hanging around his neck, Kellen and I had an opportunity to catch up on all the details of the race. What stood out most were his closing comments, “Thank you for believing in me”. He shared that he was so caught up with the pain he was in that feelings of doubt started to take over. Giving up was becoming an option.
If you haven’t already, it’s time to set your 2016 goals. These goals should be a reflection of the things you most want in life. If selling 100 homes is the thing that brings you joy then you should make that your goal. If not, then set another. Whatever it is, make it your own and find someone that can cheer you along your journey. You will certainly have difficult hours, days, and even weeks. It is in these moments of doubt when your closest friends can help you realize your true potential.