With training, it’s not all about what you do

Ultimately, it’s not all about what you do – it’s about who you become while doing it.

In the past few months, I have had the privilege of training people for many different events: 10k, half marathon, full marathon, Spartan obstacle course race, sprint triathlon, Olympic distance triathlon, half iron triathlon, and today I am waiting atop a mountain, for my last athlete to arrive in the midst of Ironman Canada.

As I enjoy watching these amazing people do amazing things, what strikes me most is who they become during the process.

On Aug. 18th, I watched normal people, just like you, compete in the Spartan Race: a grueling 5km run, filled with over 15 obstacles that you don’t find out about until race day.

Things such as crawling over fences and tractor tires, hauling bricks, slogging through mud, crawling under barbwire (in mud), leaping fences etc. I watched people who had never in their life crossed a finish line, or who had never once received a medal. I saw the look in their eyes at the start line, scared out of their mind about what was about to come, and then I saw the powerful ‘face consuming’ smiles at the finish line.

It was truly awesome! After the race, and in fact, during the training, it was amazing to watch people grow and improve, both mentally and physically.

Before the race, there were a lot of questions: ‘Do you think I can even do this?’ ‘What if I don’t finish?’

By simply having the courage to start, to train and to sign up, people become more than they were before. They became more confident, more powerful, more engaged in life, more active, more fit, and definitely happier with themselves!

I think that is what draws people to sports — even people who have previously never been involved in sports. It’s about the person you become through training and challenging yourself. 

As I watch the colossal effort required for people to complete and Ironman, I am again inspired by the courage, the depth of humanity and the power that this event has to change people. It can also be heart wrenching: like watching the man this morning who trained for 10 months to swim, bike and run incredible distances, but did not meet the swim cutoff, and his race ended after two hours and 22 minutes.

His wife was there, and the volunteers and other people worked to console him. There he was, learning about himself in the most powerful way. What was he thinking? Who was he becoming? Was he becoming more determined than ever? Or was be becoming defeated and demoralized? I would understand either outcome.

As I wait anxiously to see if one of my athletes can make the bike cutoff, I wonder how she will handle it if she doesn’t. I hope beyond hope that she will make it and get to finish, because I have seen the power of the finish line and I want her to taste that sweet victory. 

Either way, she will never be the same again, for the better.

I have watched her, and others grow so much during the year, and it is something I wish for everyone: to really see how absolutely amazing you are, how incredible your body is, and what you can do if you set your mind to it.

So it is with hope that I extend to you a challenge: try something big, something you never thought you could do and then enjoy who you become in the process, whether you finish or not – I applaud you for having the guts to try!

Scott McDermott is a personal trainer and owner of Best Body Fitness in Sylvan Lake. He can be reached at 403-887-7667 or check out www.personaltrainersylvanlake.com for more information.

Just Posted

Shots fired in Riverside Meadows neighbourhood

Red Deer RCMP believe incident isn’t random

WATCH: Alberta Party leadership candidates present visions to Red Deerians

Party members will vote for their new leader on Feb. 7th

City sells former RCMP building, land to province

Construction of new courthouse in Red Deer one step closer to reality

City increases parking rates by 25%

Red Deerians expected to pay increase in early fine payments

RCMP make arrests after bank robbery

Two suspects are in custody after using a needle to rob a CIBC in north Red Deer

WATCH: Lacombe and Red Deer Chambers prepare members for cannabis legalization

Luncheon speaker educates businesses on marijuana policies

Suspected Toronto serial killer targeting gay community arrested

A 66-year-old man is charged with first-degree murder in disappearance of two Toronto men

Barenaked Ladies, Steven Page, to be inducted into Canadian Music Hall of Fame

Canadian band to get top honours at 2018 JUNO Awards

B.C. out of the running for Amazon’s next headquarters

Toronto is the only Canadian city left in the running despite the province backing Metro Vancouver’s bid for new Amazon headquarters

Post interest rate hike debt tips

What to do about your debt and mortgages after the interest rate hike

Foreign workers sleeping in Alberta Burger King basement

Alberta Health Services said its inspectors found foreign workers sleeping in the basement of the Lethbridge restaurant

Court application halts release of bread price-fixing documents

Bread price-fixing documents won’t be unsealed Thursday, Loblaw says

Pharrell and N.E.R.D to headline NBA All-Star halftime show

11-time Grammy winner Pharrell and his hip hop-rock band N.E.R.D. will headline the halftime show at the 2018 NBA All-Star game in Los Angeles

Heritage Minister wants zero tolerance for harassment in entertainment industry

Heritage Minister Melanie Joly had two meetings to discuss harassment in the film, TV and theatre worlds

Most Read