Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Sports Talk: Joining the Elite

As a correspondent sports writer for The Casey County News, I write an weekly editorial column for the publication. Published Aug. 28 , 2013. 
A few weeks ago a group of ladies in the area competed in a half iron-man competition but this past Sunday, two took the “go big or go home” motto to heart and are now among the elite Iron Man finishers.

Dr. Erica Montgomery Turner and Nell Tarter Duggins made a complete day of it in the swim, bike and run competition.

Even being an athlete my entire life and being a runner, I cannot wrap my head around what these two ladies did. The day itself is one thing but the time and training it took to prepare for such an obstacle is beyond my comprehension.

The run alone is 26.2 miles—a marathon. I commend marathon runners, but can you imagine having swam 2.4 miles and biked 112 before taking on the marathon?

Nell finished in 12:54:20, which put her 30th in her division and 944th overall. Erica finished in 15:27:46, which was 76th in her division and 2,002 overall—and that was despite experiencing not just one or two but three flat tires during her biking leg of the event. I have no doubt both were grateful to have had support on the sidelines from family and friends from their ladies bootcamp group.

If you see either of these ladies this week—or any time for that matter—be sure to congratulate them. While the challenge is obviously physical, I believe the mental side of it must be just as big of a challenge. A goal that is physically exhausting that takes 10-17 hours to accomplish means there is a lot of time to back out, feel sorry for yourself or come up with excuses for why you need to throw in the towel. Neither of these ladies did.

Even if joining the Iron Man elite is not a goal you have for yourself, look to these two for inspiration for setting your mind to a difficult challenge and not backing down from it.

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