Earlier this October, the 41st annual Ironman World Championships were held in Kona, Hawaii. All Ironman athletes compete in three categories; Swimming, Biking and Running, fuelled by the unique brand of dedication and courage personifies the Ironman mantra “anything is possible”. According ironaman.com, the competition is a “statement of excellence, passion, commitment. It is a test of physical toughness and mental strength. Ironman is about persevering, enduring and being a part of something larger than ourselves. It shows the heights that can be achieved when we push beyond our boundaries and go the distance.” Do you have what it takes to become an Ironman? Steadyrack’s guy, Richard Stacey sure does. The Western Australian Realtor competed in the strenuous event, completing the 2.4 mile swim, 112 miles on his bike followed by a full marathon of 26.2 miles. That’s a full distance of 140.6 miles. How many of us would struggle to complete one of those, let alone all three! Preparation and perseverance are key components for the intense training schedule that must be adhered to for at least 12-13 weeks prior, with a minimum of 13 hours each week, to the big race, which is still very male dominated at about 70% and an average age of around 40. There is another dimension to the rigorous training involved, nutrition. The extensive training period will test your caloric intake to ensure that you have enough fuel to complete the swim, bike and run. Our bodies struggle to intake any more than a few hundred calories per hour during intensive exercise, while burning up to five times that amount. The extensive training will help to fine tune your individual reaction to prolonged exercise, the associated stress and impact on mental capacity. Positive Energy When training conditions are good, it’s easier to be the champ you know you can be, but as training becomes more challenging that’s when mental strength becomes more imperative. Breathing, positive self-empowerment and encouragement along with avoiding negativity and criticism. Ensuring that you’re surround by positivity all help along the way, including how you speak to yourself. If you wouldn’t let someone else verbally negate you, talk down to you or discourage you then don’t allow your internal dialogue to go down that path either. Resilience is definitely a requirement for becoming an Ironman athlete and having confidence in yourself is the key to achieving the impossible, like completing the Ironman, one of the most challenging, rewarding and life-changing experiences on the planet. Just ask Richard and he’s sure to tell you that anything is possible.