The last ten seconds of the race—when the finish line came into view, the crowd started to cheer, and I began to sprint—made it all worth it. If I could somehow unpack the elation, the feeling of invincibility, the Las Vegas style lightshow of neuro-chemical activity contained in those last 10 seconds, I could easily spread it out over every training session during the last year. And I’m pretty sure it’s registered on some sub-conscious level, because thoughts of future training and future events keep bubbling to the surface. Your body craves more.
Early last year, a client gave me a small plaque with a quote on it. The quote, from Scottish mountain climber W.H. Murray, reads thusly:
This may sound too simple, but is great in consequence. Until one is committed, there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back, always ineffectiveness. Concerning all acts of initiative (and creation), there is one elementary truth the ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans: that the moment one definitely commits oneself, then providence moves too. A whole stream of events issues from the decision, raising in one’s favor all manner of unforeseen incidents, meetings and material assistance, which no man could have dreamt would have come his way.
I’ve pondered the significance of this quote many times since. This notion of commitment, this idea that it engages some universal system of levers and pulleys, I find endearing, and apropos my circumstances.
I decided to run the Calgary Ironman 70.3 triathlon last August. However, I hadn’t really “committed” at that point. Sure, I had mentioned it in passing to a few people at my firm, and I had exchanged emails with certain Tri-Club staff regarding classes, but at that point there was no focus, and I could have easily dropped the whole thing. In fact, I almost did. Continue reading “On Commitment”