Have you ever heard anyone say, “I wish I had spent less time being healthy?” Of course not! Certainly, as we age, we really begin to understand the importance of maintaining health and fitness. A healthy lifestyle is important for all of us, at all ages. The time to start working on our health and fitness is today, and every day!
A healthy lifestyle has two main components – diet and exercise. Both have the same ingredients as any area of success in our lives. The lesson is that simple everyday habits and activities progress over time and yield huge results. It is very simple, but at the same time can be very hard. As I like to say around the office, “Every day, Every day, Every day!!” That’s how we do it, and that is how over time the small, simple steps we take every day add up to exceptional results.
Fortunately, fitness is fully ingrained into my lifestyle. I was 21 years old when I was introduced to the sport of triathlon, and, clearly in the last 41 years, I haven’t looked back! More than 200 triathlons including 31 (so far) Ironman finishes. In fact, I have raced the ultimate triathlon, the Hawaii Ironman World Championship, nine times!
There is no way to complete an endurance timed race like an Ironman without putting in the work first. It is through a lifetime dedicated to fitness that I have been able to race at the Ironman distance – a 2.4 mile swim, followed by a 112 mile bike, followed by a full marathon at 26.2 miles. Preparation for this requires the daily work to maintain that pace and endurance. The rhythm of my days is led by my training, starting with a swim first thing in the morning, and a daily run at lunch. My weekends almost always include a long 100 mile bike ride. So many people see endurance racing as the triumphant finish line picture, arms raised in victory. In reality, to even get to the starting line you must put in the daily work first. Only then can you finish the race. The work required to get to the finish line is simple yet hard – and requires everyday dedication!
If we consciously pursue a lifetime of fitness, every day, we will be rewarded with positive results for our health. This everyday dedication also becomes an example to our families and others. Please help us encourage healthy fitness lifestyles in our community. We will be happier, more energetic, and have a positive influence on those around us. Let’s go!