Pre-Game Speech

What else can I possibly say or write about at this point?  I've been thinking about that off and on all day.  The only thing I can come up with is still in the spirit of yesterday's blog about the Ironman Bowl game.

So, here it is, if I were a football coach, this would be my pre-game speech going into the biggest game of my life:

"You've done the work.  Now it is time to go out there and CLAIM what is YOURS.

You woke up before the sun.  You worked in the rain.  In the fog.  In the wind.  The cold, and the heat.  For hundreds of hours and thousands of miles.

You worked, and drenched yourself with sweat, and sacrificed, and so did others around you, for THIS MOMENT.  This is your time.  This is their time too, all your supporters.  Feel them.  Hold onto their energy and love.  There will never be another moment quite like this one, your first Ironman experience.  Enjoy it.  Revel in it.  Respect it.  OWN IT.

OWN IT for better, or worse, for as long as you are on that course.  No matter how hard it gets, and it WILL be hard tomorrow, you WILL keep going.  You WILL NOT QUIT.  EVER.  That word, from this moment forward DOES NOT EXIST.  And might I remind you it really hasn't existed in a year.  So why stop now?!  Do what you must to persevere, but DO. NOT. STOP. FIGHTING.  Everyone else on that course is hurting just like you are.  It is how you handle the pain that defines you.  It is what defined your grandfather.  It is what defined your fallen friends.  And your biggest heroes.  NOTHING worth claiming as glorious is easy nor does it come without suffering and sacrifice.  Pain will ultimately produce pride.

Finish strong tomorrow.  Claim what is yours.  Own the moment.

Ryan Schneider, YOU ARE AN IRONMAN."

What else is there to say?

12 hours and counting.