“Failure will never overtake me if my determination to succeed is strong enough.” – Og Mandino

Thirteen years ago I signed up to compete in what would be my third Ironman triathlon. The previous two were fifteen years prior. I wanted to do this for a couple of reasons. First, I wanted to experience the thrill, excitement and feeling of being awakened during the course of the race again. There is nothing that sets you in the present moment like competing in an Ironman. It’s just you, alone with your thoughts, fears, pain, weariness and the miles and miles that lay ahead. But it’s also you flirting with pure potential, the potential of growth, achievement and inner wisdom earned that can’t be accessed in any other way. This possibility, allowed me to go deep within to see what I was made of. This also allowed me to see where I might be guided next as a result of putting myself out there. Immeasurable gifts.

My second reason was that my eleven-year-old son Michael wasn’t around for my first two finishes. I wanted him to be there to witness and feel the experience himself as he watched his dad and the other athletes attempt to finish. For many, it wasn’t simply a goal or a finish line, but a calling to try and experience life in a powerfully present way and to see what one was truly made of. I wanted my son to feel the energy of the possibility that lay before all of us who stepped up to the start line. I can tell you that knowing he was going to be there to watch, along with my goal of surprising him at the end and have him cross the finish line with me, was all the fuel I needed to train in those long hard months that lead up to the race. I had a full time job at the time, was nearly 40, and wasn’t in quite the same shape I was when racing in my twenties.

I feel so blessed that I got to celebrate that race in so many different ways with the person who mattered the most. Looking back, it was one of the best days of my life. I was able to envision it, achieve it and then share it with my son. I wanted to open his eyes and his heart to all of the potential that is out there to guide, teach, and make us feel alive. What motivates you?

Copyright G. Brian Benson 2018

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