And I do believe Ron has eloquently addressed the situation. I love the reference to Justin Bieber, but in my house Selena Gomez is a part of the equation.
It does amaze me how there are people that train for a 140.6 event, do the event, do WELL at the event but say it doesn't change them, whether it's for the better or even for the worse.
To each their own Mr. Ristow. :)
"What you get by achieving your goal is not as important as what you become by achieving your goal" (unknown)
I have gained immeasurably from the sport (the goal of IM). Not tough? I won't even go there on what I have endured this year to cross that finish line a second time.
I guess you could look at it in his view as the character of person who signs on for this already understands themself well enough to know they can follow through with the training for nine months and commit to race day. The tough part is making the commitment to do it.
Being the lay psychologist I am, I'd say this person is a cynic - at least after looking at his fb page. So, whatever you'll say, you might not arrive.
That said, generally I'd not say one answer fits all for this conversation: A Sprint triathlon can be life-changing. Reaching any kind of goal can be life changing. And if you have achieved so many goals before your ironman, maybe for you it isn't.
Yet, he says it's not tough after finishing - that's his opinion. Ask some mom if childbirth hurts when she's pregnant with the next - memories change (got three kids - I should know) I finished in a similar time than Don (couple of times) and certainly forgot some of the pain - but value it nevertheless. But I'm a more emotional, less cynical person.
Place importance on myself/'themselves - oh well. There are a lot. I am now witnessing how triathlon is done in Germany - all the business with clubs, discipline and accuracy in training by the second (ok, I'm exaggerating - but only a bit) - and there is some narcism involved. Same with some (few) US athletes. But I think those people who turn their life around to finish an ironman, generally only place self-improvement onto themselves, not self-importance. That's quite a difference. Most people I meet/met in this context are real humble people who made their way to the goal through failures and successes. I'd almost think that Don did not have any failure in this context, hasn't been brought down by any injury, tech-issues, family-issues or whatnot. And instead of seeing this as positive or good fortune he projects it onto the toughness of the race...
Last, I think Ironman is overrated - but in a different context, just because there are plenty non-m-dot races which are nice, too. But that's a different matter.
Jim, I don't think you'll be able to talk the opinion out of Don. He seems like a person who's seeing the world around him without goals to reach, very cynical, very uninvolved. Not even any of those videos or life testimonies (e.g. my 120 pound journey or similar title on youtube) will change this. Only maybe if someone he cares for finishes...
I wouldn't respond at all. It is obviously a personal journey for most of us or we wouldn't do it. As Mike Plant said, Ironman is "...about athletes, the fast ones and the slow ones alike, stripped of everything but the simple desire to take one step farther than they themselves believe is possible." If Don has never felt that moment at least once out on an Ironman course, then he must be one hell of an athlete -- better than some of the greatest triathletes in the world in fact (Dave Scott, Scott Tinley, Joanne Ernst to name a few) who have spoken at length about the impact the race had on them spiritually, emotionally and physically.
Don doesn't get Ironman...which is fine. who cares? One less person hitting the web site when registration opens up for our favorite races. :)
Well put Nan.....I just added your Mike Plant quote to the Motivational Quotes forum.
FOCUS on YOU Jim Ristow and what you want to accomplish in life. No matter how hard you try, Don will never get there. Good luck at IMFL having another memorable, life changing experience!