Just 2 months after I completed my first sprint triathlon (which was a beautiful disaster), I met triathlon coach Frank Sole who convinced me to sign up for my first Ironman.
I had 11 months to get ready for the incomprehensible challenge, and one of the first things I did was sign up for an Ironman camp in Tucson Arizona.
Completely overmatched and ignorant to what Ironman training entailed, I shamelessly immersed myself into the camp and did my best to soak up everything I could in the week.
At the end of the week that consisted of long swims, 100-mile rides and 20-mile runs, I came home with shin splints and a brand new perspective about what is possible.
For the first time in my life, I could actually see how these extreme distances of swimming, biking and running could be achieved.
The final ride of the camp was a 26-mile ball-busting climb up Mt. Lemmon, which is basically straight up hill the entire time and reaches an elevation of near 9,000 feet.
Reaching the top on a bike was one of the first monumental moments in my little endurance sports world… The sense of accomplishment was unlike anything I had experienced.
Since then, I have come back each winter and have participated in some sort of camp with the Mt. Lemmon climb being the benchmark.
This year, instead of riding up the mountain, Kowalski and I decided to try something different… RUN IT.
After climbing 26.2 miles from our front door to the front door of the cookie cabin, we got a ride down from our dude Frank The Tank who crewed us on the way up.
The next day, on slaughtered legs, we hitch hiked to the top and then crushed the 26.2 mile downhill quad-hammering session.
I remember my girl Heidi running up & down Lemmon a few years back and thinking how CRAZY she was… Yet what I’ve come to realize is that CRAZY is all relative to the work that someone puts into their craft.
Had we not been prepared to run the 52.4 miles straight up & down Mt. Lemmon, that would be crazy… Yet when we put in the work to be able to push limits and go beyond boundaries, that shit is very, very ordinary…
We are just LIVING OUR LIVES.