It’s the day before the day before and only 2 days to go to the Jailbreak Triathlon at Brandvlei Prison in Worcester. It’s a year on since I did the Minimum Jailbreak Triathlon (1.1 km swim, 44 km bike, 11 km run) and I am excitedly nervous about taking part in my first Maximum Jailbreak Triathlon (2.2 km swim, 88km bike, 22km run). I shouldn’t be nervous after all the training that I have undertaken over the past 5 months. In a nutshell though that’s me a big smiley bag of nervous energy.
So what does this have to do with the title of this blog post? Well last Wednesday I had the great fortune to attend a talk hosted by Runners World at Cape Union Mart with South African trail running legend Ryan Sandes. Ryan is now a well known name on the global ultra trail running scene after literally taking it by storm over the past 4 years. For such a super talented athlete with celebrity status he is still the same friendly and humble guy I first saw at trail races when he was just another trail enthusiast so many years ago now.
Ryan delivered his talk last week with great aplomb as he shared his racing experiences with us and his now vast knowledge of taking part in challenging endurance events around the world. There were many things that I took from his talk but one thing that struck a chord with me regarding endurance racing was breaking down a race into small goals and targets when the going gets tough. Ryan called it “One grain of Sand at a time” he used this phrase to sum up his experience whilst training on the sand dunes and beaches of Hout Bay and Noordhoek. Over the many training sessions at these places he would see the dunes and beach landscape be reshaped by the wind. Over the course of time the grains of sand that rolled by eventually completed their goal and natures cycle by reshaping the environment that he trained in.
I thought it was quite an insightful analogy to draw in comparison to endurance racing. Like every grain of sand that rolls by to complete a cycle as part of natures plan we as endurance enthusiasts take one stroke, pedal or step closer to our own eventual goal. From start to finish we endure countless hours and challenges as we push our minds, bodies and abilities from their familiar comfort zones into new reformed landscapes of possibilities and improved endurance. Each challenge we take on is an opportunity to learn, experience and go further than we had ever hoped or expected. One grain of sand at a time! Be it one stroke, one pedal, one step at a time we are ever closer to reaching our destination in our continuing journey into endurance.
Similarly on Sunday at the Jailbreak Triathlon I like many of my fellow triathletes will be taking my own journey in endurance One grain of sand at a time.
Take a challenge, set a goal and achieve your own impossible!