“If we’re going to bring out the best in people, we, too, need to sow seeds of encouragement.” – Joel Osteen
When I first started this Ironman adventure I was adviced, by literally everyone, to find help from people who actually knew how to do a triathlon. Because I didn’t knew anything about endurance sports and the way that my body worked I figured that would probably be the sensible thing to do.
Now before I continue you have to understand the world that I was living in: I thought that every Ironman/Ironwoman out there would “get it”, like, they would totally understand why I would want to do an Ironman and I thought I was going to be supported and helped and that my age was, how cliché it may sound, only a number. I thought we would share the same ideals and believes and that they were walking sources of inspiration. With this in mind I wrote 3 e-mails to people that could possible help me.
Their replies boiled down to these 2 things:
- I was to young
- I was to unexperienced
The eventual conclusion of the e-mails was that they weren’t going to help me in a million years. If I would be able to finish an Ironman without having to amputate my legs afterwards they thought that that would be a miracle in itself. Slightly discouraged by there e-mails I came to the conclusion that not all people were going to like my idea and that I should not stop searching for a coach. I signed up for a Triathlon club.
So there I was then, sitting nervously in the lobby of the swimming pool waiting for the other people of the club to arrive. After a half hour almost everyone was there and I realized something: I was the only teenager. All, and I’m serious, all of them where at least 25 years or older. It was like I had landed in a parent-teacher conference but I was the only one who was actually young enough to not be a father. This was the weirdest and least encouraging swim I have had throughout this year: everybody ignored me and the one time that somebody actually asked me something, the question was: “Can you actually swim?”. This was meant to get the laughs of his mates. I realized why there were no teenagers here and I never returned.
The point of this post is to make people realize what they actually do when they discourage someone, especially when they share the same dream. If other triathletes make fun of my IronDream then what does them give the right to get supported in theirs? Why would you not support someone who has a dream? isn’t it great that they have overcome their fears of the unknown and have decided to be proud of theirs, so proud that they even have the courage to tell you about their dream. When you discourage someones dream you are indirectly telling yourself that dreams are a waste of time, which is sad because dreams are the only thing that make life worth living.
All I ask from you guys is to support other people in their dreams, how far or out of reach they may seem, it is the thing that makes their life worth living so who are you to tell them that they can not.
For as far as I go, I haven’t had a coach throughout this year, I am completely self-thought from food intake to training and I get all my information from my book ”Be IronFit” and the internet.
Let me know what your opinion is and what your own experiences are, it will be my pleasure to read!
Keep on dreaming!