Determination… there are so many people in all aspects of life that work really hard on their goals but then let there mind come up with reasons (excuses) why they should stop. This confidence destroying attribute typically happens when success is just around the corner. But if you quit… it doesn’t matter if you’re two inches or two miles from the goal: A breakthrough is as far away, if not farther, than when you started.
Why far away? Because no matter whether it’s two inches or two miles, if you quit.. then all the background work has to be redone. Put it this way: 1000 hours of training is 50 weeks of 20 hours per week… and yet to put in the consistency of a thousand hour year requires a hell of a lot more than a thousdand hours of your time. Lose the inertia and it’s harder to get the ball rolling again.
Why further away? Because if you quit, it means your initial confidence has been eroded away to the point that it will affect your next effort. This is called ‘baggage.” A likely reason why first timers at Ironman have a high ration of success. They come in from a fresh vantage point, are excited and naive but have some fear and fear can be a great motivator.
Having determination to finish the job at all costs gives us strength through the difficult times. Ask the champions who’ve walked Kona. Better yet, ask the ones who chose not to.
Look at Macca in Hawaii, DNF, DNF, WALK… (humiliation) turned into something else. Then 6th and then in 2007 he wins.
Determination is a resoluteness of purpose, a resolve to carry on without fear of failure until your objective has been reached. It’s “don’t weaken in the tough times” and it’s the voice inside you that speaks up and drowns out the words of the naysayers around you. Unbridled determination is an irresistable force, wearing down good oponents who are nevertheless forced to confront their inequity in the face of your power of determination.
A personal story. In 2008 coming off the back of Kona and making nutritional mistakes that led to a disappointing race, Charlotte and I had IM Western Australia again on the schedule. I think it was around 8 or less weeks between drinks. In that time, we trained hard- but then for me, all of a sudden I had all these excuses pooping up… no time, needed to do this or that and I so nearly threw in the towel.
I was exceptionally close to packing it in and ‘supporting’ Charlotte… The truth of the matter was that my main support to Charlotte came as a training buddy. Obviously the problems were more to do with my expectations. In 07 I went 8:57 high, then had two sub-optimal IM races (Challenge Roth, Kona) in 08 but my expectations where to be able to break that magical 9 hour barrier again.
So my mind was coming up with all sorts of B.S reasons to literally give me an excuse to pull the pin and probably justify everything. Thankfully I pushed on as it was only a matter of weeks now until the race.
Result – 8:58:25 and I won my age group. So my greatest Ironman success to date was litteraly 2 inches away and it may have been years away if I had quit.
In the famous words of Sir Winston Churchill… “Never Give Up, Never Ever Give Up”.