“For the last decade I couldn’t spell Konasshole, now I are one!”
Just what is a Konasshole you ask? Well, I could go on and on for hours describing these people, but with just a few examples I think I can perfectly describe them. Ever been in line at a Starbucks behind someone in full spandex who is extremely fit, legs shaved (man or woman), and talking to anyone who will listen about how they just finished a 10 hour bike ride and they are getting ready to do a 5 hour run tomorrow? Konasshole. Ever been running, biking, or even walking up some stairs and someone passes you screaming “ON YOUR LEFT!!!” Konasshole. To put it another way, these guys/gals are fucked in the head.
Incase you are new to the sport. The only way to qualify for Kona is to place at the top of your age group. Historically this means you need to throw down a 9:30 or less until you start hitting the 65+ age groups…for real. These people are crazy fast. A couple of years ago Ironman started a program called Ironman Legacy Program. In order to qualify for the program you need to have completed 12 Ironman races and never been to Kona. Check and check. You then submit your application to Ironman, they review it, and out of the shit-ton of people who submit their applications you either get a ticket to the Chocolate Factory or you don’t. Last year I submitted for it, and did not get picked. Boofuckingwhoo right?
There is a contingency of people out there who think the only people who should go to Kona are those who qualify via race times. If you feel that way and are cranking out sub 9 hour Ironman’s then that is your prerogative. You have clearly already lost all grips on reality, so nobody really cares what you think anyways. If you are an armchair quarterback and have that same feeling then you are an asshole.
I have come to realize it has never been about the Race for me. It is the lifestyle. I enjoy pushing myself beyond what I think is possible; finding my limits and surpassing them. It helps me be a better father, husband, business owner, and person. It is who I am. I know someday I will go, but it probably won’t be until I am the only 95 year old racing that day! Knowing that I simply enjoy life and race because it is fun. It wasn’t always this way for me, dark times indeed, but when I finally made this change in perspective about Ironman it took on a whole new meaning for me. It became fun. Everything about it is fun. The training, or lack there of in some years, became more about the experiences and less about the results. Raceday became more about my family and support crew, and less about me.
Now here I sit 13 Ironman finishes in the bag, and nowhere near the times needed to go to Kona. I could not be happier. However, the Universe works in mysterious ways my friend. I received a phone the other day from Ironman. I did not answer it, so they then had to email me instead, but the phone call makes it more dramatic. The call was one I never thought I would get. All of those early mornings, all of those long rides, all of those days of being-an-asshole to my wife and kids because I was exhausted (believe me there were/are a lot of them), and all of them because I wanted to. I was having fun.
Deep down inside there was still a part of me that yearned to go to Kona, because come on it’s the World Fucking Championships of Ironman. It is a big deal, but for me it was just a dream. A dream I had 10 or 11 years ago that got me into the sport. A dream that if I worked hard enough, kept at it, and did not accept failure, that someday it would happen. One way or another I would make it to Kona. Not because I had to, but because I wanted to. Not for the bragging rights, but because it meant I could do anything I set my mind to. A life lesson for my kids that hard work pays off. It might not pay off today, might not pay off tomorrow, but if you believe in yourself, work hard, and have the courage to dream big it can and will happen.
After the call I did not really realize what happened. I was just kind of like, yeah whatever. Then this morning on my mountain bike ride it hit me. I fucking did it.
The call was to tell me to pack my bags because I am headed to mother fucking Kona in October 2016!