This I Believe

Stacy - Fairfax, Virginia
Entered on December 2, 2007
Age Group: 30 - 50

I believe in the power of the mind to help us get through the most difficult times. I was on my bike during the Hawaii Ironman Triathlon when I first really believed this to be true. The Hawaii Ironman Triathlon is the Super Bowl of triathlons where people swim 2.4 miles, bike 112 miles and run a full marathon at 26.2 miles. The swim was good and the first 40 miles of the bike ride were great. There was very little wind, but then it started to pick up. I struggled for the next 72 miles. While I was tired physically it was my mind that kept me from pushing myself harder. I gave in to the negative thoughts in my mind. “This wind is brutal” I said. “I am not going to make the bike cutoff” I told myself. I let my mind beat me, not the wind. I believe that had I just not given in to all those negative thoughts that I allowed to creep in during those long, grueling miles then I would have been ok. After I got off my bike, it was time to run the marathon. You know what? The negativity was gone. My mind switched from all those negative thoughts on the bike to telling myself, “I can do this marathon. I know how to do this”. My mind let the bike ride go away and so could I move on to the run. It was like a switch, but I made it happen. I could have tapped into those positive thoughts on the bike if I had let myself. As I ran up on the highway during my marathon I saw the sunset over the Pacific and it was the most beautiful thing I had ever seen. I ran in the dark after that, but there were no more negative thoughts, just positive ones. I am going to finish with my daughter, who was allowed to come see me race from Army boot camp and that was my motivation. My thoughts were positive throughout the entire marathon and I finished running with my daughter across the finish line 13 hours and 43 minutes after I started. I will never again let my mind beat me.

This I believe.