It’s hard to believe that anyone wouldn’t want the Ironman badge, what isn’t hard to believe is that most would prefer to skip the intense commitment needed to achieve Ironman status! I was the latter.

12 months back I would have categorised myself as a gym bunny, the bloke who ticks his fitness box by being on a treadmill for 30 minutes, grunting at the mirror and then pretending to stretch. At this point in my life the closest I had been to becoming an ironman was adding  “yes so would I” sentence to others talking on the subject of gaining Ironman status.  To correctly explain my story, I should introduce David Hyner I was lucky to see David speak during a Vistage CEO conference. He would not be the first to stir emotion and drive BUT he would be the first to inspire me to STOP talking about massive goals and actually DO massive goals. 

My business life demands a large proportion of my time and energy, following 2 years of rapid growth I had reached out to a fellow business leader/friend who suggested I join a group of CEO’s that focused on coaching businesses and their leaders. It was during my time with Vistage group I met David. He talked to our group about achieving massive goals. In conjunction with seeing David’s speech my group had fed back I was needing to let my business “breathe” by allowing other to take the charge whilst I focused on strategy and all those other business buzz words…!  What I needed was a hobby, or a project that would force me to spend time away from the desk!  In some mad moment and recalling a recent meeting where a guest delegate casually dropped he had completed 3 Ironman challenges I lifted my arm and announced to my group I would become an ironman. Basking in the glory for near 45 seconds felt great, of course 45 seconds is not a long time as I would soon appreciate!

The start of something big

The start of something big

Given I had no experience in long distance running, bar the obligatory half marathon, didn’t own a road bike and unable to swim without holding my breath resulting in 20 yards of aggressive splashing, I began to reach out for help. First mistake would be to spend 2 months with a PT at my local Gym… beating the treadmill, smashing the spin class and ignoring anything to do with the swim discipline! Realising quickly that 1-2hrs of HIT training in the gym wouldn’t cut what could be 17hrs of endurance I knew professional tri advice was needed. 

Through a friend of a friend and a strong recommendation I called and spoke with Mike Porteous. We met for coffee. I vividly recall Mike ordering a big lemon ice cream. I on the other hand just opted for fluid as I was clearly an Ironman in training! What relevance you ask who ordered what? Well from the start I was more preoccupied with how I might have looked on the outside whilst Mike more about what was on the inside! I explained my story like presenting to a client, ignored direct questions and just said this is what I want and I would like you to make it happen! It would be weeks later before I would be crowned a “triathlete in training” and months before I would be standing on the start line preparing’s to create my own masterpiece. My physical journey has been incredible BUT this holds nothing against that of my mental journey, truly a changed person and changed aspect on life. I now enjoy ice cream, don’t go to the gym, focus on the inside and tell myself daily I am IRONMAN and anything is possible.

I would like to especially thank my partner Emma for what can only be described as support role extraordinaire, bags packed, food prepared and washing mountains of kit and sweat soak clothing!  I love you very much and thank you for helping me achieve a dream I’m looking forward to helping you and our amazing children with theirs.

Thank you Mike, true dream maker and changer of lives, 12 months of coaching my body and mind has been just the most fulfilling experience, looking forward to planning the next “massive goal”.

Thank you David Hyner, the man is a genius, he’s a must see show!  

Thank you Tenby: tri review here.