I truly believe there comes a time in everyones life when they're faced with an opportunity to do something special for themselves that may require them to be a little selfish. As much as you may love family and friends, the time will come when you choose to put yourself first in order to achieve a goal that can have a profound impact on your life.
To me, I have no doubt that attempting your first Ironman is just such a time. By its very nature, it is demanding and often means spending a lot of time away from family. It can put a strain on your social life as well because ultimately, between work and training and recovering the day is just not long enough.
I believe the wisest way to deal with this is to be open about it from the very beginning. Once you've made your decision to give months and months of preparing for your first Ironman, talk to those nearest to you about your decision. Make sure everyone is aware of just how demanding the preparation will be and how much time it will take out of your life.
There are a lot of things to consider. Your diet will most likely change and may be different from those around you. That means cooking at home will be different and ordering at a restaurant will be different. Going to that party on Saturday night and having a few drinks with friends may not be the wisest thing with a four hour bike ride scheduled for first thing Sunday morning. You will require more sleep. A lot of times training can be very demanding and you may not want to do anything when you get home but relax.
There will also be expenses. Equipment to purchase and entry fees to pay. You will most likely have to use up some of your annual holidays for the race as well.
All these things should be discussed at the very beginning so there are no surprises or hurt feelings halfway through your preparation. The support of those around you is an important ingredient in attempting to reach the Ironman finish line.
On the positive side, reaching your goal could well be one of the high points of your life and will most likely change you for the better. You will be a more confident and self-aware person. You will learn what you are truly capable of and will amaze those around you and most likely, even yourself. By growing and improving, everyone in your life will benefit from your success.
Just think. Your fitness level will be amazing and as a result so will your over-all health. What family or friend wouldn't want that for you?
The best idea of all though, is to involve them in your dream. Maybe your partner or kids can bike alongside you one day during that ten mile run. Or maybe bike forty or fifty miles to a favorite picnic spot. You start early in the morning and the family drives out and meets you for a picnic at your destination. Just put your bike on the bike-rack and drive back home with them. A great way to share a training day.
Best of all you can bring them to the big race. After cheering you on and witnessing your awesome performance, some of your support team may decide to take up the sport and try the Ironman themselves. It wouldn't be the first time that's happened. I was at one Ironman where three generations of one family finished the race. How amazing is that? A daughter, a father and a grandfather. Truly remarkable.
Ultimately being a bit selfish in a case like this is not such a bad thing, because in the end, everyone around you wins when you succeed and realize your Ironman dream.
The name of my site is “Ironstruck"
The address is http://www.triathlon-ironman-myfirstironman-ironstruck.com .