How I Almost Quit Training For The Ironman, And Why I Didn’t

There are 2 words that I didn’t think would ever come out of my mouth. I never thought I would feel that there was a situation that I couldn’t get through somehow. Though I may have been thinking these words, I never actually said them with the passion these words pack.

I have been struggling lately with my training for Ironman. I can list a ton of reasons, some of which are even valid, for feeling the urge to want to say these words.

“I Quit”

I don’t think there are 2 words that when combined could be more defeating than “I Quit”.

I have been praying for that “Rocky Balboa” training moment when the light switch goes on and the music starts and the training clicks into high gear.


Except life isn’t a Rocky movie all the time. However, these moments are there when we open up our eyes to see what God is showing us and open our ears to listen to what God is whispering, or shouting, at us.

For me, just as I was getting ready to say “I quit”, I had that conversation with God that was equivalent to any of the Rocky training montages.

I started running, and completed my first marathon, when I finished chemotherapy for stage-3 colon cancer. I continued to run marathons to try to inspire cancer patients and show them that a cancer diagnosis isn’t always a death sentence. I even completed my 1st Ironman in 2007 to celebrate my 5 years cancer free.


Galatians 6:9 And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.

Notice I said my 1st Ironman because I still am going to try this September in Wisconsin for my 2nd. In the past several days, I have heard about several friends, friends of friends, celebrities, and a host of others who have been diagnosed with cancer. Quitting isn’t an option for them so I am not making it an option for me either.

I need to remember that God is with me always. He sees my struggle and knows my heart. I need to stop focusing on myself and start putting the spotlight on glorifying Him. He is the reason that I am still able to do any of these events and I will do them until I hear Him say “Enough”.

Maybe I will cross that finish line in September under the cut-off time of 17 hours, maybe I won’t. Either way, I am not going to quit.

Philippians 4:12-13 I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. I can do all things through him who strengthens me.


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