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  • Writer's pictureJason Bankston

Contentment--A Positive Attitude Comes from Within

I did it!! Ironman Boulder was the hardest race and feat I have ever done. Previously, I discussed how every day you have to prepare for your opportunity and be ready, otherwise it can just pass you by.

I went into this race feeling confident with my preparation, but not sure how I would handle the altitude. I did not, however, expect the heat dealt to us on race day. I believe Boulder set record temperatures that day reaching a whopping 95 degrees at around 5,300 feet of elevation. So not only was it extremely hot, but you are about 1 mile closer to the sun. The heat was a dry heat so it felt worse than the heat in Southern Louisiana. I never thought I'd say this but, give me humidity!

This race taught me a lot about myself and life. This took a continuous positive attitude to finish even though I was beat down, hurting, and disappointed. I was beat down from all the heat and dryness. I could not keep cool and I did not seem to be able to stay hydrated. The altitude dries you out. I was hurting just because it was a long way and not being well hydrated. I was disappointed because I wanted to beat my previous time of 13 hours. I did 13 hours and 11 minutes. I was really hoping and confident I would be around 12 hours and 30 minutes. Either way, I was content to just finish. This was a brutal race under some brutal conditions.

The climbs for the bike were 10 plus miles and extremely difficult for a guy like me who does not have many hills to train on in Louisiana. The course was exposed and had no shade and temperatures in excess of 95 degrees. Enough on the race and more on life lessons.

Some people believe contentment comes from having material possessions or positions of power. Contentment comes from a positive attitude and how you think about your circumstances. It means:

  • Expecting the best in everything--not the worst

  • Remaining upbeat--even when you get beat up

  • Seeing solutions in every problem--not problems in every solution

  • Believing in yourself--even when others believed you've failed

  • Holding on to hope--even when others say it's hopeless

No matter what happens to you, a positive attitude comes from within. Your circumstances and your contentment are unrelated. I learned your attitude has a profound influence on your approach to life or a race. I could have just given up and quit as more than 20% of the race participants did. I did not and just kept telling myself, "your boys are looking up to you!" Teach them to never quit and never give up no matter how hard it gets.

Sometimes, in life, you have to take things slower than you want, but you have to keep putting one foot in front of the other. When something does not go as planned, learn and adjust your plan. Be content you are moving forward and not standing still or falling backwards. No matter how fast or slow, moving forward is progress.

Life is a matter of choices, and every choice you make, makes you. One of the most important choices you will make is who will you become! Be content and believe in yourself!

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