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The Ironman World Championships and the Big Island of KONA. The most powerful teacher inviting the athlete to stretch, to grow, to claim their magic! When the student is ready, the teacher appears. What can you look back at in your life that was an incredible opportunity to believe in something more? A moment where what was being asked of you seemed ridiculously impossible? A moment where, no matter how impossible it seemed, you took a chance on you and found you were so much stronger than you could have ever imagined? These opportunities present themselves all the time. Believe in more. Believe in YOU! Leap!!
Today, especially, I have some bed head that puts all my other bead heads to shame.
Last week, as you know — just a couple days ago — was the Ironman World Championships in Kona, Hawaii — the biggest race of the year. This beautiful island is a place where thousands of dreams have come true just by being on that start line and having the opportunity to race on the grandest stage in this sport of swim, bike and run.My athlete, Mirinda Carfrae, has won the race three times, been on the podium, I believe, about six times. We’ve had the most incredible success here on this island. And this year, about six weeks before the race, Rinny fell running and broke her radius, the elbow, and we weren’t really sure if she was going to be able to race or not.
But as her elbow began to heal and she was able to start swimming, bike and run going better than ever before, we decided to race. But sadly on the day because of the compensation, you know, when she would ride her bike, she’d have a little bit less weight on her left elbow. When she ran probably holding it a little bit different. And then when we swam the 3.8 K on race day, she breaths to the right every single stroke.
All of these little shifts in how she carried her body led to her getting on the bike and her back kind of going out early on in the bike and her not being able to put basically any power into the pedals and had to just ride the bike back to transition and end her race.
So pretty devastating for her, for us, collectively. This is a race that we work so hard for every single day of the year. But the greatest gift on the day is that her amazing husband, Tim O’Donnell, went out and had the most heroic race — breaking the world record, coming in second place to Jan Frodeno, who was absolutely untouchable and amazing. But Tim O’Donnell, racing from the heart and coming off an injury as well — just had the most phenomenal day.
So, a victory for their family is a victory for all of us. So that’s the gift on the day.
But about this race, if you guys don’t know about the Hawaii Ironman — the World Championships — that island can be relentless in a beautiful way. It can be perfectly calm in the morning and then suddenly there will be 30 to 40 mile an hour winds, gusts that can throw people off their bikes, heat, and humidity that is absolutely relentless. The pavement can get over a hundred and ten degrees and it really is a race where you have to dig deeper than you ever had before. You have to find everything inside of you to continue to move forward. And some people rise to the occasion and step into powers inside of them that they didn’t even know existed to have these magical days like we’ve had many times and we are so grateful for.
And for others, it can be the most humbling and difficult challenge of their lives. Some don’t make it to the finish line, but the way I see it is this island — and this is the big island of Hawaii, Kona, is the most tremendous teacher. The most powerful teacher. And every single person that has qualified for this race — I consider it as when the student is ready the teacher appears.
And on this big day, the teacher is the island of Kona. And I hear a lot on race week athletes saying the island will either allow you to succeed or it’ll just knock you down and destroy you.
No. It’s not like are you going to be lucky enough to have the island support you or the island go against you. It’s not that. Kona, the island Madame Pele, whatever you want to call it, is there demanding you to stretch. Demanding you to strengthen. Demanding you to grow. Encouraging you to grow.
So yes, she will throw everything in the world at you. Everything unexpected. Everything that may seem overwhelming. But she’s offering you the opportunity to step into a power you didn’t even know you had. To find a strength that you didn’t even know existed. To dig deeper than even seems possible.
And in this invitation to grow and to stretch and to believe in something that seems impossible, you’re being invited to truly step into your magic. To claim your magic and to bring out of yourself something that we all kind of know is inside but it almost seems impossible.
So like Jan Frodeno and Annie Haug and Mirinda Carfrae winning it years ago and Leanna Cave who I coach to a championship there. It’s on those days that when they’re being thrown these challenges, they reacted by saying “yes, I will find a way. I will find that something that I know is deep inside me. I will believe in it and I will pull that out and I will give everything I have and be open to the possibility that I am more powerful than I could ever imagine.” And they claim their magic. They stepped into their power and they create the day that they have only dreamed of.
So, think about this in your own life, whether it’s World Championship or business opportunity or deciding to say yes to the person that asks you to marry them. Whatever the opportunity is, or whatever the circumstance is, consider it your teacher. Consider that this is an opportunity for you to believe in something that you’ve never witnessed before. That you’ve never seen before. But you know that somewhere deep inside of you, it’s there.
Believe in you. Take the leap. Understand that you are more powerful than you can ever imagine. And each and every day, step a little bit closer to that incredible greatness that you know is inside.
To everyone out there, take the challenge. Say “Yes!” Don’t let it beat you down. Don’t let it assume that life is happening to you and you don’t have a choice. There are teachers everywhere around you. Be grateful for that.
Embrace the opportunity to stretch, to grow and to become more than you would ever imagine.
Have an amazing day, everybody!