Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Ironman Recap - Victory Over Self

Hi Everyone,

I've taken a bit of a break from blogging recently, along with a break in structured training.  I've still been at it though.  In the last few months since IM I've really gotten my running back on track, gotten my nutrition dialed in again, and in general gotten my head screwed back on right.

I've got a few posts brewing my head that should be coming up shortly.  I've really missed writing.  Until then...I'll leave you with this:

On December 1st, 2008 I wrote this crazy blog post that said:

Today is 11/11/11, a little less than 3 years since that date and about 4 years since I was the 400 pound, nearly dead, and very unhappy Mike that I was.  It was so long ago that sometimes it seems as if I have lived two lives, each with a separate set of memories and experiences.

I can see old pictures, and know they were me.  I can remember those moments, but they seem surreal now.  

The truth is that's me though.  That person was me, just an inferior version.  These last 4 years I've been battling with myself, fighting not just over my weight.  I've had alot of victories in the last 4 years, and some losses to be sure. I'm so thankful for the journey though.  The person I was was smart, and dedicated, and a hard worker.  I'm still those things, but along the way I had to become brave, confident, and strong. 


2005 / 2011

I finished an Ironman, and that's pretty cool.  But there is so much more that is even better, that seemed mundane at the time.  It really is the journey.

I became strong enough to do the right thing even when it wasn't the easy thing.  I survived a divorce that cost me nearly every possession I owned and every friend I had.  The morning I was due in divorce court I woke up and went for a run.  

I became the person that shows up every day.  Last winter I ran in a snow storm, because the gyms were closed. 

I became the person that never, ever quits.  This summer I rode my bike 120 miles in the rain, on a challenge course called "Dairyland Dare" that is billed as "The toughest ride in the midwest."  After I was done I took a shower, ate a sandwich, and drove about 3 1/2 hours to Chicago so I could cheer for Lana the next day when she ran a half marathon in Chicago.  

And then there was Ironman Wisconsin.  It was a day filled with challenges, and more downs that ups.  In my race against the clock, things didn't go so well.  But the person I am managed things the best I could, persevered, suffered through the bad stuff, and smiled when my friends and family cheered me on.  Old Mike wouldn't have had a shot, even if his body could hold out, his mind never could have. 

Aristotle said that the hardest victory is victory over self.  My victory over my previous self is something I hope I never forget.  This journey has undoubtedly been the hardest thing I've ever done, and has become something that will frame who I will be the rest of my life. 

I count him braver who conquers his desires than him who conquers his enemies; for the hardest victory is the victory over self. - Aristotle


  1. This gives me chills Mike- you are undoubtedly one of the most inspirational, yet humble people I know. Talking (and looking) at you, one would NEVER guess where you came from... that is something to be proud of my friend.

  2. Such an inspiration!! Thanks for sharing:)

  3. Awesome reflection - and a pretty cool tat as well.