Ironman Australia

It is pleasing to see that Ironman Australia has received some great media coverage over the last week, but is the media focussing on correct aspect?

Hardly a mention is made of Patrick Vernay’s 4th title at Port Macquarie or Carrie Lester’s first victory? and not a mention of Dave Ross who has completed every event and hence racks up his 25th finish, no it is about Tony Abbott the leader of the opposition completing his first Ironman.

Firstly congratulations to Tony and all competitors for finishing what is definitely a challenging event, but shame on all the mockers who think they have a right to say if Tony or anyone for that matter has the time to train and participate in such an event. We need to put this into perspective. Tony is not the first person who holds a responsible high profile position and is a family man to participate, the Ironman family also has the CEO challenge, surely everyone one of these participants have very demanding roles and busy lives too. Triathlon and Ironman attracts individuals from all differing lifestyles and all of them love sport and love life. Many an age group competitor if not all of them have a challenging task to fit in their trainingto their lifestyle. Factors that need to be taken into consideration around this include include work (for some it is 40hours pw others it is 60+ hours pw), family commitments, (dropping/picking up children from schools, preparing meals, running a home, attending sporting events etc), active community members, social commitments and the list goes on. These are ordinary people doing the extraordinary.

The only way that these competitors can do this, is they are up early training, whilst the majority of people sleep, some will ride or run to and from the office to make the best use of their time, others will slot in a quick training session in their lunch times and to top the day off some will complete a training session in the even, whilst the majority will be in their homes sitting on a lounge watching the TV. The training will be slotted around the individuals lifestyle so that it does not impede them from their work and other daily tasks. What makes society think that they can sit down in the comfort of their lounge and have an opinion that a person in a position such as Tony’s should give up exercise and not participate in these events? If the media is correct in saying that Tony trains 10 hours per week, if he gets up 1 hour early everyday to train that is 7 hours in the bag already, than another 3 hours over the weekend, it all looks very doable and does not impact his job!

Shouldn’t we focus on the benefits of exercising which include, general good health and happiness (yes happiness have you ever seen a group of athletes on a start line looking grumpy?), it is a great stress reliever, clears the mind, people can think (and sometimes resolve issues) whilst out training due to the relaxed environment, you are more alert throughout the day, you have higher energy levels and the list could go on. I think everyone should be encouraged to exercise regularly and enjoy all of these benefits.

So good on Tony and all the other Ironman competitors and good on anyone else that trains regularly keep it up and keep smiling, one day maybe the rest of the nation will catch on?



“If you are comfortable with your training regime then you should be concerned. You can only make the big gains by being out of your comfort zone.”
- Me

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