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Ironman: Going beyond the comfort zone, together

As a health and wellness advocate, I believe it is important to practice what I preach, every day. I ask people to step out of their comfort zones to make a positive impact on their health and wellness. For example, I’ll suggest that they start drinking more water or start buying different foods than they have ever eaten in their whole lives. This past year I committed to stepping out of my comfort zone to continue my journey of health and wellness when I registered for Ironman Wisconsin. Going beyond the comfort zone, allows change and growth to occur and with that, magic can happen.

It hurts

ironman-margaux-drakeA badly injured Jennifer Taylor (right) and me (left) going beyond our comfort zones, together, this past year as we trained for and crossed the finish line of Ironman Wisconsin on September 7, 2014. Photo Credit: FinisherPix.com

An Ironman is a triathlon in which an athlete completes a 2.4 mile open water mass start swim, a 112 mile bike and a full marathon, 26.2 miles, all in one day. Ironman training takes a solid year of daily commitment to prepare. Although I have completed two Ironman races in the past in Florida (flat!), the Wisconsin course is particularly challenging due to its extremely hilly bike course. Hills hurt. Ouch! This race scared the heck out of me. I trained all year with my husband, Steve Drake and my friend Jennifer Taylor who also registered for the race. Sharing the training experience with others, the highs and the lows, the early mornings, the bumps and sore muscles, made the experience far more memorable and fun.

Surprise

On race day, I serendipitously met up with Jennifer at mile 90 of the bike and found out that her tire was clipped at mile two by another cyclist and she went down hard. Road rash all down her left side, left her bloody and bruised. She was mentally and physically struggling to finish the race. She wanted to give up many times. For better or for worse, I stuck with her in hopes that I could be of some assistance to getting her across that finish line in under 17 hours, the cutoff time. Although there were some very dark moments especially when her damaged body started to cramp up, I’m excited and proud to report that we did finish the race, TOGETHER, in 16:01:21. I would not have wanted it another way. Thinking of her finishing, still gives me the chills.

Magic

That finish line is where the magic happened. I witnessed someone overcome their body’s pain and their mind’s negative chatter to accomplish something they wanted. I saw fierce will and laser focused determination. And, I had the honor to take her hand, raise it up triumphantly and cross the finish line with her.

Lessons learned

Do I think we all have to do an Ironman on our paths to health and wellness? Absolutely not. I do however believe that it is only right to practice what we preach. We must constantly step beyond what we know is comfortable to grow and to witness the magic that can result. It’s fun to set big juicy goals and invite a few friends to come along for the ride. And, in business and in life, teamwork is critical. All of these things can take you to places you never dreamed you could go and make a positive indelible imprint on your soul.

Inspire on

What have you done in business or in life that has taken you out of your comfort zone and resulted in pure magic? Inspire us with your story.