A Free Ticket to Ironman

Today I got my life back.  I’m lying in bed with both my feet swollen and in agony. I briefly ventured to the kitchen to forage for cereal, only to return to my duck-down haven for the pain of standing up.

The front tendon of my left foot is swollen, the arch (or at least the knobbly part above the arch) is swollen on my left foot, and two nails on both feet are bruised and slowly turning purple, of which the pressure from my socks causes a wince in the slightest movement.

And what caused this? A free ticket to Ironman.  If the pre-race hype was anything to go by, it was supposed to be the best moment in my life. I’m sorry guys, I just don’t get it.  Any event that causes your body to breakdown under the physical pressure (unless it is for survival) just isn’t worth doing! It was too long to be fun, it hurt too much to be fun, and the point of it was lost on me.

All it is, is a really long triathlon. Those people who do it, who probably shouldn’t be doing it, who make it just before the cut off, are incredible.  It may well be the most physically demanding and challenging thing they ever do. The mental fortitude to get them over the line is amazing, and quite rightly, they should be damn proud of themselves, after all, they are the people who inspire others to take up the challenge, not the middle-of-the-packers like me. I never once thought I couldn’t do it.  I’m just apologetic to my body who I willing, for no good purpose, risked its health and mobility for a gold medal, a towel, and bragging rights.

I was embarrassed to rack my $800 bike with the dent in the top-tube among the row upon row of bicycles that cost more than my families car. But more embarrassing is the amount of money these ironmen have poured into the bikes, gear, coaches, physio-appointments, massages, nutrition programs, specialised food, bike fits and bike maintenance.  And what about the abandoned and neglected families (the ‘ironman widow’ is becoming a popular vernacular) whilst these Ironmen pursue their individualist agendas of glory.  That is a the true abomination of this event.

However the Ironman brand glorifies this exorbitance, and the public sanctify it by spending the day cheering them on.  Ironman puts on a dinner to ‘welcome you to the ironman family’, there are 80,000 of us around the globe, to tell us how amazing we all are, to affirm the scarifices we have made, and quite frankly is only one ‘hallalujah’ away from religion.

Ironman over, and with the pain in my feet only a temporary inconvenience.  I now look forward to my future, and making up for all the lost weekends with my children.  I look forward to pushing my limits again, but perhaps to climb a mountain, to see the world from above, with no cheering crowd but for that one in my head, that says, ‘job well done’.

Thank you to those that cheered me on.  You kept my spirits up when the smile had faded. Thank you for your kind words of encouragement and well wishes.  Thank you for saying I’m amazing, though I’m not sure I’m worthy.  Thank you children for letting me selfishly abandon you for so long, I promise to start cooking proper meals again 🙂

Training: 293hours 20mins – Swimming 128.3km – Cycling 3292.9km – Running 873.3km

Event: 12hours 45mins – Swimming 3.8km – Cycling 180km – Running: 42.2km


About Juliet Jones

Beauty is everywhere, if you but open your eyes
This entry was posted in Bay of Plenty, Central Plateau, Cycling, Half Ironman, Ironman, Racing, Running, Triathlons and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to A Free Ticket to Ironman

  1. Nina Mercer says:

    Ah Jules, welcome back to normality, still an awesome achievement no matter what.

  2. Carolyn Jones says:

    We think you are awesome Juliet, but also glad that it is over with only minor injuries (hopefully). Love Mum and Dad

  3. Sue Thomson says:

    Bravo Juliet
    I am on awe of your determination and strength and I appreciate your honest appraisal of the Ironman religion.
    Bless those feet and hope they recover swiftly.
    Love your blog Sue

  4. Wendy Dawid says:

    Congratulations Juliet for having the fortitude to see this undertaking to it’s conclusion. But best of all for having the humility and honesty to see it for what it is – and being content to leave the field. You have no need for these ego trips.

    Aunt Wendy

  5. Juliet Jones says:

    I passed the torch over tonight, to the next iron volunteer who has just won the free entry to 2015. To be honest I kind of feel like I’ve lost something … perhaps this is the taste that makes people want to do this event over and over again. Belonging to a big ironman family, getting all the adulation and congratulations, being made to feel like a celebrity and a part of something bigger than you could well be addictive. A bit like child birth you instantly forget all the pain that got you there and indulge in the euphoria of achievement post birth … but folks … next comes nappies and sleepless nights remember. Anyway … big kudos to Taupo, you sure do put on a great show … but it’s time for me to take my bottle of bubbly and run. I look forward to volunteering again next year … that looks like much more fun! 🙂

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