By Sandra Elzie
This past weekend I was in Panama City Beach, Florida to cheer my daughter on in her second Ironman triathlon. As you probably already know, the Ironman consists of a 2.4 mile swim in the ocean, 112 miles on the bike, followed by a 26.2 mile marathon run…which must be completed within 17 hours.
My son-in-law, Kent , has participated in several of these grueling races and my daughter, Kim, has now completed two of them, so I’ve had the opportunity to tell their stories and even educate readers a bit on the history of this particular racing event. (In case you missed them, click on Kent and Kim’s names to read the earlier posts)
But today I want to look at this subject from a slightly different angle. My question is this: What does an Ironman Triathlon have in common with writing a novel?
I’ve given this a bit of thought, and although I’ll probably leave a few things off my list, I’ll take a stab at drawing the comparison.
- Both require a person to have a bold dream.
- Both require a person to make a decision to achieve the dream.
- Both require a long-term time commitment.
- Both require seeking advice from experts in the field.
- Both require preparation, practice and discipline.
- Both require a winning attitude—never giving up: Failure Is Not An Option.
- Both require continued effort—unwavering determination—until the goal is reached.
Some authors write for the glory or the money…but most write because they must write…the characters and stories in their heads must be shared. Likewise, some athletes train and race to satisfy a driving need to compete…or in a pursuit to win, but one thing is for sure. Whether you’re putting in hundreds of hours to train for the ultimate physical race, or sitting in front of a computer the seemingly endless hours to complete (and then edit and revise…and sometimes rewrite) a three-hundred page novel, a person must be willing to sacrifice to reach their goal.
Of course, it’s not only the individual who must sacrifice for the goal to be met. An athlete in training must spend hundreds and hundreds of hours in a gym, a pool or out on the road biking…not to mention the numerous weekends spent competing in shorter races to prepare for the longer one. This is time that the athlete…and the author…must be away from their families. The support of family is vital to an author or an athlete’s success.
So, what else can you add to the list above?