If you have been following my IRONMAN Journey, you would know that it has not been an easy one, but it has been fulfilling. This Saturday will mark the completion of a big goal which has been on my bucket list for some time – and I will be happy not only to have completed it, but to spend quality time with my family as well.
The Biggest Challenges I Faced While Training for the IRONMAN Competition
The training has been an obstacle in itself, but the biggest challenge so far has been the time I have spent away from my family. My wife and children have always been the main focus of my life with the business coming in second. In order to prepare for the triathlon, I have had to spend a lot of time and energy elsewhere.
As an example, I was waking up while they were still sleeping in order to get my workouts in while simultaneously maximizing my time with them when they were awake. My body felt fatigued and, after a while, simply having the willpower to get up was a challenge. It’s already a challenge balancing family and work, now imagine adding triathlon training into the mix!
While I have continued to coach my kids’ soccer teams, help out with baseball and maintain chores around the house while running a business, I only persevered because of the help from my “support team” who consisted of family and team members of Sunlighten.
My Sunlighten IRONMAN Support Team
I could not have done this without my family and the executive team’s support. Perhaps it is the exhaustion talking, but I have had this belief which has manifested in my life over again and again that if I wasn’t in the office, my business would not be successful. The Sunlighten team has been paramount to the success of my training (and to my peace of mind)!
My biggest support has been my wife. This training has also taken a toll on her – she rose to the occasion and picked up the slack in terms of the family. I love her so much, and I only wish I had more time and energy to show her how much she means to me. I could not have done this without her support.
The IRONMAN Roadmap
My diet has changed drastically since I have started training! The best part about prepping for this race is being able to splurge a little bit on my diet. In essence, I have not missed out on any desserts with my kiddos – I burn so many calories I can afford to add a few extra. But while it may appear I “cheated” here and there in terms of diet, I most certainly could not afford to do that when it came to the physical aspects of my training.
My IRONMAN coach, Ken Welsh, has done a fantastic job of providing a weekly roadmap of goals and targets to accomplish. This has helped me stay focused and on-task. After all, reaching your desired end results happens one day at a time, and it all adds up in the end!
What I Have Taken Away From This Experience
Am I nervous? Yes! I understand that I have a lot of internal pressure to perform on Saturday. The biggest “takeaway” I have from this experience was I did what I came here to do: I wanted to challenge myself. I wanted to introduce myself to biking and swimming, I wanted to perform better physically and mentally. This isn’t something that is limited to this aspect of my life – I can apply these lessons to all aspects of my life. After all, how you do one thing is how you do most things (more on this little lesson later)!
Stay tuned to see how my IRONMAN race went – and wish me luck!
Aaron Zack, President/CEO