Over the past little while I've been wondering how we all measure ourselves up. Is it based on what we do for a living? How much money we make? The number of friends we have?
I suppose we could use any of these and more. But there's another way many of us choose to measure ourselves... by how far we can push our body before it says... 'enough already, I'm done.'
I bring this up because over this past weekend my brother ran his third straight Ironman Canada Race up in beautiful Penticton, B.C. For those of you who aren't familiar with ironman, here's the lowdown...
First you swim 2.4 miles in the lake (or ocean for some)
Then you jump on your bike and ride 112 miles through some of the most beautiful and hilly areas of the countryside.
Finally, as if you're not tired enough, you run a marathon... a full 26.2 miles.
They do this voluntarily... no one chases them with shotguns or rifles... their lives don't depend on them crossing the finish line. There's absolutely no reason on earth for these people to push themselves to such extremes except one... TO SEE IF THEY CAN!!
And my brother certainly CAN.
But what amazes me is that, it isn't enough for these athletes to merely finish. No they set up near impossible time goals for themselves, then seem to be disappointed if they're an hour off or heck, even a minute! They train more than some people work... deprive themselves of certain necessities ( and yes, chocolate and beer are necessities ) all for the sake of carving that ever elusive one more minute off their time. And for what you may ask?
The measure of a man...
Here are some pictures of my brother, Norm, as he rocked Penticton this past Sunday...
As you can see, he's actually smiling in some of these photos!! Hell, I'd be on the road telling them to just scrape my remains out of the way. But not my brother... he kicks it the whole way... fights through the pain, grits back the cramps and runs across that line with his head high and his arms stretched up... a true hero.
Now to him, this weekend wasn't the best. He didn't achieve the time he'd set out to, (which was basically to break his previous record of 11:25:00) but as you can see, to the rest of us mere mortals, he kicked some major IRONMAN BUTT !!!
So, I'd like to dedicate this post to him and all the men... and ladies, but then us women have had to prove ourselves since the dawn of time, so I'm really sending it out to the men of a new age... an age where the measure of a man comes down to a line and a clock.
Please remember... The measure of a man is more than the time recorded on a race. It's the strength and integrity you bring to the game... to life, and the way to teach all of us to push ourselves to the limit and beyond... because there are no second chances and limits are just our fears drawing a line in the sand. I salute you all. And especially you, bro. You will always be made of IRON with a heart of GOLD. I love you.
Romancing life... one adventure at a time.