I’m always reading posts on people’s achievements within the world of real estate, but I rarely hear about people’s extra circular accomplishments. I hope there’s a place for this post in the community.
I’m writing this post in an effort to hopefully inspire someone to change their mindset, step past their fears and do something awesome. I hope this message can be applied to anyone pushing through a grind to finish a project, secure a new deal, or to get started. We are more powerful than we give ourselves credit. We also are infinitely stronger when surrounded by the love and support of a community or team. But in the end, you’re responsible for YOU and you have to be willing push through the pain, adapt to the changing landscape and refuse to be beaten.
*Brief Bio: I’m an active investor who owns and operates 66 units, has 7 projects under construction and runs a residential brokerage in the Watertown NY area.*
4 months ago I was scrolling through FB and saw a friend post about the Ironman race. On the spur of the moment, I decided this would be my next challenge. I didn’t own a road bike, nor had I ever even raced a triathlon, so I bought a used bike and started training. 2 months before the race I hurt my ankle pretty badly and was sidelined from running for 30 days. I thought this was the end of my race, but I was able to make a speedy recovery thanks to sauna and mobility exercises from Kelly Starrett. I was also having knee issues on my bike stemming from wrong cleat positioning in my shoes and potential overuse from cramming training into a short time period. It was 10 days before the race, and I couldn’t go 5 miles without feeling like my patella ligament was going to tear off the bone. Again, I thought my race was over before it began. I wasn’t trained in the run, and I couldn’t bike without destroying my knees. However, my family and friends had all dedicated time and money to come out and watch me compete this weekend. So under no circumstances could I just sit it out. I spent the final 5 days in complete resting mode and prayed I’d heal up.
Race day is here, and I felt calm. At this point it was what it was. I was going to go out and do my best. I started out the day strong by walking up to the beach area with my wetsuit on inside out. A glorious start!
The swim went great, and the first 35 miles of the bike went great as well. I put my focus on keeping my gears low, and spinning at high cadence so I wouldn’t overstress my knees. As the race went on, I wasn’t having any pain so I started gearing up and attacking the course. However, tragedy hit at mile 35 when the outside of my right knee began a dull ache. I dropped my gears and upped my cadence but it was too late. By mile 40 I started having lancing pain through my knee anytime I applied force through the pedal. I was forced to drop to my lowest gear and spin the next 16 miles. I was averaging a whooping 10mph. I stopped at the special needs station and switched out my cycling shoes and pedals for running sneakers and flat pedals. I may be the only Ironman competitor in the history of the sport to do this. This decision was going to either seal my fate, or save my race. The next 10-15 miles were complete hell. I was in a very dark place at this point. I couldn’t possibly see a way to finish the bike AND run a marathon afterwards with my knee like this. Every time I applied force on a hill, I got a terrible, lancing pain through my knee. I had to pull off the road at least 8 times to stretch and adjust my braces. However, eventually I found a foot position which allowed me to exclusively fire my leg from my glute. I spent the next 4 hours with my *** flexed tighter than hulk hogans biceps. The aching pain was still there, but the searing, ripping pain stopped. If I could just get off this [email protected]*$ing bike, I may still be able to finish this thing. I wish I could say I finished the bike strong, but that would be a lie. I barely made the cutoff time, but I made it.
I can say with confidence that I would have dropped out of the race before, and during if not for the love and support from my family, and friends. The thought of letting everyone down far outweighed the thought of trashing my knees. By choosing to spend their time focused on what I was doing, they became invested in the experience. They would share the pain of my failure, or they could share the joy of my success. Given that thought, failure was not an option.
This was a powerful lesson for me to experience. The strength you can draw from a supportive, loving community can be enough to push you to greater heights than you can ever achieve on your own. There were countless times when the encouragement from a complete stranger on the street gave me a little boost of energy when I started fading. So when a loved one is going through something difficult, know that the simple act of being there to show your love and support can make the difference between them succumbing to the weight of the pressure, or rising up to the occasion and pushing through to the other side. Also know that, in the words of David Goggins “When your mind is telling you you’re done, you’re really only at 40% of what you’re capable of doing”.
I thought I was done around mile 55 of the bike, but was able to push forward for another 83.2 miles. Don’t underestimate yourself. Whether it’s the thought of leaving your 9-5 to start investing in real estate, competing in competition, or being there for all of your kids most important moments. You can do anything when you adopt the mindset that failure is not an option. I went from swimmer, recreational runner, and full time Real Estate Investor to Ironman in 4 months. What can you do when you refuse to be stopped?
If you have any interest in a full race report, feel free to google “ Ironman Lake Placid Race Report 7-28-19 reddit”. Thanks for reading.
congrats on iron man nice achievement for sure.. do it why you can as I get older North of 60 I can still work out and do weights extra but boy it aint like It used to be.. hour of cardo is now 20 to 25 minutes LOL
Youd be surprised what you can still do at your age! I got beat by several 60+ year old guys. And there were 70+ and 80+ that finished. Pretty crazy what people can push themselves to do.
Thank you Mike for posting this and encouraging fellow BP's.
Sounds like you fought and overcame huge challenges. We should link up for a 5k or 10k run sometime.
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