Monday, August 15, 2011

Motivation Monday- Duane

The recap of my own race will be coming shortly-  I'm waiting for the other legs of the 3Ps to send me their race wrap ups.. but I am absolutely THRILLED to be able to bring you the most extrodinary story of one of my favorite and most supportive Triathletes:  Duane.  The guy is  work horse.  He's up long before any of us would even think is humanly possible to train and just recently competed in his first Half Ironman!  The dedication and stick to it ness required to prepare for a half Iron Man deserves our thumbs up on its own, but when you read his story you'll want to get up and cheer.  So, without further ado -  my Tri friend-  Duane:

Duane Now 

Duane Before 

Well I just had my first "Did Not Finish" (DNF) in a triathlon. My first attempt at a Half Ironman fell short. For those of you who may not know, a Half Ironman is a 1.2 mile swim, then a 56 mile bike, then a half marathon, all in a row.

I made it through the swim (had a good swim) and conked out at mile 21.2 of the bike. Not the day I had imagined or trained for.
Did I fail by not finishing? Nope! You may think "But you didn't finish the race"  Well, in life, sometimes we just have to make it to the start and take a risk to be considered a "winner".

Let me share a little bit about me. In February 2006, I weighed almost 500 pounds, had a leaky heart valve, my cholesterol was 240, triglycerides were 800, I suffered from chronic back pain for 20 years, and I could not walk half a block. I was headed to death shortly. I realized my daughters may lose their dad. And I was not confident and really beat myself up a lot. So, I made some changes. My cholesterol is now 124, my triglycerides are 101, my back pain is totally gone, and my leaky heart valve is cured. I can ride a bike 64 miles, I can run/walk 13.1 miles, I can swim 1.2 miles. I have finished 9 triathlons, I have 1 DNF at a Half Ironman, not so bad so far.

Now I am down to about 350, I still have  along way to go but it is a journey, not a destination. Fitness is not easy for most people. Most of it is in our minds. My friend Jess Hogue at Shape Plus taught me several things that led me to, well, my current mindset:

    First, before I go to bed at night, I decide "WHEN" the next day I am exercising, not "I know I should" or "I want to but . ."  Not exercising is not an option!

    Second, "No Excuses!" Oh this one really will get me on my soap box! I work full-time, have two teen daughters (I'm single by the way ladies), and I can get in lots of hours of triathlon training each week and people tell me they don't have time to get in 30 minutes,  3 or 4 times a week? Baloney! Be honest!

   Third: Make yourself a priority! You have kids? You will be a better parent if you take care of yourself first!

I currently workout 8-15 hours a week. Now you may think you could never do that. Well, if you tell yourself you can't, you can't! Maybe becoming a full Ironman like I want to is not your goal, but I bet you want to be healthier, have more vitality, and feel better too! So, where was I? Oh yes, you may need an epiphany, a paradigm shift. I now see it as normal to workout a lot. How do you look at fitness and exercise? As painful? As boring?  Is it easier to get our butt off the couch for an hour a day or be dead 24 hours a day? Hello!

Do I ever mess up? Do I ever blow off working out? Yes! But I am honest with myself about it. I don't say "I'm too busy" or"I'm too tired", etc. I admit the truth "I don't want to, so there"  It really is not perfection we seek, only serious progress.

Jess had me make a list of all the things I wanted from working out, losing weight, and getting healthy when I started working out in 2006.
Here are  a few that have come to pass: Not having to wear a seat belt extender on airplanes, being able to sleep well, no back pain, feel better, buy smaller clothes, get through turnstiles easier, and for those of you who are obese you will get this one, and this is embarrassing, but, to be able wipe my butt without contorting!  What do I have left on my list? Buying clothes in a regular store and of course, finishing a full Ironman triathlon (yes, I know, I'm not right, but when I am 80 years old and doing triathlons and looking like I'm 60, who will be right in the head then? Me! (and you? Hmmm).

Is fitness easy? Not for most of us! Is it worth it? Yes! (and you know it deep down)

So, people who meet me know I am confident. Was I always that way? No! But fitness and health improve not only our bodies, but our minds and our emotions and attitudes! I had huge struggles with this race. Knowing I probably would not make the race cut-off, I raced anyway.  I knew I would have to walk around in front of three thousand people in my bathing suit, still with too much fat on me. I fretted about that for months. But you know what, when race day came , I knew I had done the work and deserved to be there. I prouly lined up in my swim wave and loved it! I was about to start the biggest triathlon in my life! In the end, many people had DNF's that day, even the pro who won last year.  And I did not have a Did Not Start (DNS).

I thought for sure as hard as I trained, I would make the bike cutoff and at least get out on the run. But it was not my day. Would I do the race again? Heck yes! I made it through the swim in a Half Ironman triathlon and part way through the bike! My kids are proud of me. I'm proud of me. Now, isn't it time you are proud of you? If I can do this . . . . well, you know the rest!  Email me at if you ever want to talk. I know I sound like I'm nagging at times . . .  "well I am! Now make that list of what you want form working out, from getting healthy. It is what will sustain you in your quest! Now suck it up, get your butt moving, and "No excuses!"  Oh yes, DNS's are not allowed.

I echo Duane's statement that everyone has the time to exercise. I know that I've said it before, and I will say it again- its just about priorties! :) Duane also wanted me to share with you the video of his very first Triathlon. You can check it out here:


Alex said...

Awesome stuff!!! Congratulations Duane!! I have those mornings all the time where it would be so much easier to not work out or run. The Nike slogan "Just Do It" always rattles through my head though. I think we so easily make exercise an option in our life rather than a requirement like bathing and eating.

Continued success Duane, which I can tell by your attitude is a certainty!!!