You may have heard because I think I mentioned it a little while ago but I tried to do an Ironman this year. You may have also heard that that Ironman did not go, let's see, how do we say this, super well.

As a matter of fact, the Ironman Lake Tahoe race was cancelled just a few minutes before it started because only YOU can prevent forest fires and, well, you failed. Because there was a forest fire. And they canceled the Ironman.

I didn't really care at all because it's not like I trained for it for a year or drove halfway across the country with everything I own in order to compete.

Oh wait. I'm thinking of a different thing. I actually DID train for an entire year for this one race and then drive halfway across the country to compete in it.

And in the months leading up to Ironman Lake Tahoe, I repeatedly told anyone who asked that this would be my last Ironman competition. I was tired of the 10-to-20-hour training weeks. I was tired of the constant fatigue. I was tired my hair getting covered up by bike helmets and therefore being hidden from the world.


And I know what you're thinking. "Eli, if you hate it so much, why do you do it? Nobody is forcing you to sign up and train for these races. You are the most beautiful man we've ever seen. Can we please have a lock of your hair so we can infuse it into our own?"

First of all, yes. You can have a lock of my hair. I just sent it to you in the mail. I sent it Pri-hair-ity Shipping through USPS.

Second, I know no one is making me do this sort of thing. But I set a goal many many years ago to complete a full Ironman race. It has been so much more difficult than I ever imagined it would be. But I just really need to do this. I need to finish what I started. I need to meet this goal. And I know that there are much more important things in this world than triathlons, but to me, there are few more important things than not giving up on your dreams.

Right or wrong, somewhere deep down I feel that if I can prove to myself that I can do this, no matter what comes my way, I can get through anything that comes my way.

It's never about the goal itself. Hitting the target of our aspirations is meaningless without context. And context is merely made up of the emotions, the hardships, the breakthroughs, and the story surrounding those aspirations. That's why people's biggest regrets are rarely that they failed at something but are typically about how they reacted to that failure.

I don't regret anything having to do with my attempt to meet this goal so far, now spanning the length of three years of training. But I would greatly regret letting adversity get in the way of attempting to accomplish it.

And so it goes.

This week I reviewed my options, and with the encouragement of some wonderful friends [DRUM ROLE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!] I have signed up for Ironman Boulder, August 2015.

It's much further into the year than I hoped, but I didn't have many other options that made much sense. So I will continue to train and fight.

I hope you'll join me in your usual encouragement, commiseration, and twice up the barrel, once down the sides until then.

Godspeed, all.

~It Just Gets Stranger