Lessons learned doing crazy stuff

Living in the moment

I often get asked why I do endurance events? For me it is two fold

  1. It speeds up learning who you are and what you want in life
  2. It teaches me lessons that I can implement in my daily life and inspire others to learn from them as well

I want to chat about my latest lesson, learned doing the Ironman race in Copenhagen 2 weeks ago. Just in case you do not know what this involves, it is a 3.8km swim, 180km bike ride and then a 42km marathon run – yes all in the same day 🙂

Within the first 500 meters of the swim I got stung on my face by a jellyfish, on my forehead and all over my mouth and chin – producing excruciating pain. Now, I know what you’re thinking – the old wives’ tale that says: “Just pee on the area where the jelly fish stung you”. Well as you can imagine that would have been interesting.

So, there I am focusing on my swimming stroke. And then it dawned on me. I can only control so much! Then I started going through the mantra of what I can control and what I cannot control.

Ok, point number 1, could not have controlled whether or not I got stung by a jellyfish. I can control what I am going to do about it. I am going to ask the first medic for an anti-histamine. But wait a minute ….. I cannot control the reaction from the medic. I can only control what to do with that information.

I go through this scenario during swimming portion of the race, learning a lot about the power of the mind in the heat of challenging circumstances.

As I exited the water there was a medic, and I duly asked him for assistance, saying: “I have been stung by a jelly fish on my face and need an anti-histamine. Please can you help?”. You guessed it, he said, “No I don’t have anything to give you and besides I can’t see anything. Grrr…… Ok, deep breath. I cannot control what he said, remember. So I decided I could control looking for another medic or continue with the race without assistance. I decided to continue. (Besides, I was aware that getting external could earn me a penalty.)

That led me to wondering what in your life you feel you can control but actually can’t. Once you release what you can’t control, the important thing to think about is, “So, what can I do about it aka what can I control” thereby empowering yourself rather than remaining a victim to the circumstances.

Have a great ‘controlled’ day
Dr Debbie

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