you can do hard things! yes, you can!

I have lots of catch phrases, or mantras if you would like to call them that. I’ve picked them up along the way from here and there. Maybe it was a line I lifted from a book or something that somebody said that just stuck with me.
Today I am celebrating doing hard things. I wish I could say I owned the celebrations, but I don’t. They belong to Matt – his dedication, his determination, his achievements.
Last weekend we embarked on a trip to Cambridge, Maryland where Matt competed in his fourth half IRONMAN. A half IRONMAN consists of a 1.2 mile swim, a 56 mile bike ride, and a 13.1 run. It’s no joke. These are serious endurance athletes going out there for a total of 70.3 miles of swimming, biking, and running. Then top that off with extreme summer heat and some wind gusts and you have to remind yourself that you can do hard things.
We were up at 4:00 AM to be race-line ready for the day. You know you’re an IRONMAN when you go to bed the night before and it’s still light out but you wake up and it’s dark! It’s crazy, but you can do hard things!

pre-race photo op

He promptly started his swim on schedule at 7:32 AM. The water and sunrise was absolutely breath taking, but it was a sign that it was going to be a hot one for the day. The goal, swim as fast as you can to get to the bike, as fast as you can.
The bike course is flat, flat as a pancake. Some may say that’s great, no hills to climb, but that also means no hills to coast – peddling, peddling, peddling for 56 miles in the scorching sun. Topple that with riding straight into a headwind means little relief. Matt crossed into transition with sweat flinging from him, but he crossed safely ready to tackle the third and last leg of his IRONMAN – the 13.1 miles of running.

wearing a smile

At this point in the race it was now about noon and the sun was burning bright. Again, the course is flat and there was little shade if any. It was a loooong 13.1 miles. But, he did it!

IRONMAN finisher!

Now the celebrating doesn’t end here. A year ago Matt decided to embark on a running streak. His streak was to run, at least two miles, everyday for 365 days. EVERY.SINGLE.DAY! That meant NO.REST.DAYS! Fuse the running streak with strength training, 1/2 marathon training, triathlon training, and life and it makes for quite a challenge! But again, he did it and I am so proud of him!
running streak
I often wonder why we are brave, why we put ourselves out there, and why we would purposely decide to do hard things. But, I know. I know why. It’s the crossing of the finish line, whatever finish line you may choose to cross. After the finish line is crossed, the anguish dissipates. For it’s only a matter of time before you accept the challenge again.
So today I celebrate Matt.
What the mind can conceive, the body will achieve.
You can do hard things!
Yes, you can!
 Join in each Saturday for Celebrate This Week with Ruth Ayres.
It’s a time to celebrate the joy!

14 thoughts on “you can do hard things! yes, you can!

    • Thank you, Molly. I tell you it is difficult to be a spectator. I always try to position myself so I can see him at each leg of the race. Then I know he’s okay!

  1. I cannot even imagine. My daughter did a half marathon and I thought that was bad enough. Those “hard things” take such perseverance and dedication – on both of you! congrats!

  2. I loved these lines, “But, I know. I know why. It’s the crossing of the finish line, whatever finish line you may choose to cross.” Yes, it feels amazing to accomplish those hard things. And I think it gives us strength and endurance for some of those challenges we don’t choose on our own.

  3. Pingback: Capturing Quotes | Runner, Reader, & Rockin' Mom

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