A Tale of Two Selves

In the sport of triathlon, mental outlook is almost everything. Thanks to a long-time friend and colleague, I was reminded of that this morning -- on Twitter, of all places.

My friend Patrick, responding to my "woe is me!" tweet about being sick before the marathon, replied, "@ryanps74, the @theiornmadman makes this a positive."

Sometimes the most powerful of motivations comes in the simplest of messages.  Not even a full 140 characters!  Though I find it amusing that both people mentioned in the tweet are one person.  How can that be?  It's such an image to me: my normal "ryanps74" self laying on the couch, ill and down for the count, while my alter-ego, "theironmadman" is being summoned to overcome and persevere.  A tug-of-war between two selves.  One dogged and downtrodden, the other energetic and excited.  One defeated, the other indefatigable.

Four months ago, there was only one "me."  Now, apparently there are two.  And perhaps, like a superhero, I can try to summon "theironmadman" not just when competing in a triathlon, but in other aspects of my life.  It honestly had never occurred to me prior to Patrick's tweet.

When I started my Ironman journey, I knew I'd become a better athlete, but I never considered I'd morph into a different person.  It's interesting that others can see the makings of a transformation on the outside while I failed to recognize it occurring from within.

Thank you, Patrick.

Now, I'll shut down for the night.

I've got a fever to beat back.

253 days and counting.