Monday, August 11, 2008

The Way I See It

A few days I stopped at Starbucks. I’m a big fan of the Pike Place blend. Finally coffee from Starbucks that I can drink without spurting it back out. Other blends are a bit too strong for me but this one is fairly good.

Walked up to the counter and the barista looked strangely at my shirt.

So did you do an Ironman?

Part of me just wants to say no. Pretend I am walking around wearing a shirt that just says Ironman. Little does this barista know about Ironman. Like I would be caught wearing an Ironman shirt without having done an Ironman. Could you imagine? You’d guarantee yourself being followed by an angry mob of Slowtwitchers ready to tackle you for misrepresentation of corporate logo while also be stalked by a bunch of their cagey counterparts lurking in a bush.

No thanks.

What to say, what to say. This is kind of like answering the guy down the street that always asks if Boss is a Chihuahua (he’s still a Chihuahua by the way). There are many things here I could say:

1 – Yes I’ve done an Ironman.


Ho hum.

2 – My husband did one and bought me this pink shirt.

Getting better.

3 – I bought the shirt on E-bay.

YES YES! That is it. I bought it on Ebay. After all, it was an Ironman world championship t-shirt.

But I just didn’t have the heart to pour out such a sassy lie. And so instead I replied, yes I did an Ironman.

Boring as that.

You must be crazy, she said.

A point to be debated, to say the least. But not as crazy as if I had bought the shirt off of ebay. However, yes, a little crazy nonetheless because you are right – Ironman is crazy. But I didn’t say any of that. Settled for yes, it is a little crazy, took my coffee and left.

I try not to think too much about conversations like that. One person's crazy is another person's wildest dream. For all I know she could be the world's biggest Ides of March fan. Now that's crazy (side note: Last night my husband got talked into going to an Ides of March concert, came back and said best concert ever; I still can't figure out if he was joking or seriously rocking out to Vehicle). Who am I to judge what she calls fun on a Saturday night (or in the case of training for Ironman...an entire Saturday).


Taking the conversation not too seriously, I am distracted by a feeling of guilt. You see, I feel guilty for getting a paper cup and really should have just brought my own. But since I already had it in hand I thought I should make the most out of it by reading everything printed on it. Of course there was one of those The Way I See It blips – something about music being orange juice. Whatever. What if you don’t like orange juice but you like music? Riddle me that.

So I thought what if Starbucks had The Way I See It – Tri Style, what would the cup say?

Success is 50 percent showing up, 50 percent making up your mind to do it.

The real threat is not on the start list, the real threat is inside of yourself.

Repeat after me: There is no such thing as a magic workout, magic shoe, magic pill, magic coach. Magic is what happens when you wave your wand at bullshit. PS – nothing magical happens to the bullshit, that’s the point.

The faster you get the harder it gets to become faster.

Succeeding at an IM means taking the IM out of impossible and then putting that IM into your realm of possibility.

We will find every reason to explain away our failure except the most simple one – something we failed to do from inside of our self.

Treat every Ironman like it is your first; don’t assume your experience with the distance will mean something on a different race day.


More dangerous than injury is complacency.

Confidence is the bridge between preparation and opportunity that you cross to arrive at peak performance on race day.


Spend less money making your bike aerodynamic and more time riding your bike instead.

If you know how the workout will go then you might as well go home.

Racing is just fee-based training on a particular day.

Only one person can win which means everyone else is out there for something else. Before you start your race know what your something else is. This, rather than the drive to win, is what makes you a winner as you cross the finish line.

Overthinking is as debilitating as overdoing.

Train your mind like you train your body and your mind will know what to do with your body on race day.


And now, one more. But first - just as it reads on the bottom of the Starbucks cup, I am posting a legal disclaimer disavowing legal responsibility for my opinion:

If you have to bring a bucket to a race, perhaps you should go fishing instead.

That's how I see it. What about you?

11 comments:

Flatman said...

"Repeat after me: There is no such thing as a magic workout, magic shoe, magic pill, magic coach. Magic is what happens when you wave your wand at bullshit. PS – nothing magical happens to the bullshit, that’s the point."

I absolutely love this. I even made you the quote of the day on my blog! ;)

Spokane Al said...

I really like the idea of taking the IM out of impossible - it hits home.

Also, I was surprised to hear that the Ides of March are still together. Vehicle came out in 1970!

P.S. No buckets? - I was just thinking that a bucket might provide a nice seat for T1 and T2.

Anonymous said...

You will not get faster by reading ABOUT triathlon...Or watching Triathlon...you have to train.

Jen H. :)

Andrea said...

"The real threat is not on the start list, the real threat is inside of yourself."

This helped me SO MUCH on Saturday!

Great post!

Stef said...

Why would someone bring a bucket to a race? Am I missing something?

I LOVE Pikes blend too -- I brew it at home.

Oh and LOVE the list. I was thinking about stealing a quote for my blog and I see Flatman beat me to it. Great minds . . . . :-)

Kim said...

How about.. Go Big, or Go Home. I'm not exactly sure what it means, but Dang Nabit I like it.

One of my other favorites, You only live once, but if you work it right, once is enough.

My husband just saw a picture of our house in Hawaii and it had a white chair by the pool. His quote was "I see me in that chair, with my beer in hand, can you say 8 day bender" Humm.. I may have to kill him after doing the Ironman. I wonder if I will have enough energy for that?!

Alicia Parr said...

OK. I'm clearly bucking the trend by not jumping on the favorite quote bandwagon, but you may notice I already got a little quote-happy on my own blog. But now, I'm over that. So ten minutes ago.

What I wanted to convey is that I have never heard of this Ides of March group and Gary just googled them. Now I know why I've never heard of them. Maybe they're good live. One of those party bands, as they say.

TriGirl Kate O said...

Love that one about there only being one winner. Told Jen H today that's what I love about triathlons--even if you're first or last, we triathletes all encourage and support each other. I've not raced one race where someone looks at me on the course and says, "you're so damn slow, why'd you sign up?!"

BreeWee said...

LOVE the different little phrases... I wish they would put them on all the wrappers of power bars or something...

KK said...

I loved the one about spending less time making your bike aerodynamic and more time riding your bike. Sooo true.

If that barista only knew how her simple little question sparked an entire stream of consciouness published on the www...Great post!

Mira Lelovic said...

Great quotes! You should submit them to Starbucks! Now I have to try the Pike's Place. Never have because I thought it sounded "cheap".