This is a mini-episode. Just a wee one. It’s sort of Part Two in my chat with the unbelievably well-respected professional Ironman triathlete, Jeff Symonds Asia Pacific Ironman Champion, the year before last. But it’s also a stand-alone. So I’m not really thinking of it as a continuation of last week’s episode. By all means, go back and check that one out – but don’t feel you have to in order to really “get it”. I saved this installment, which technically is the last twenty minutes of our initial time together, because I really believes it sums up everything I believe about what makes a Guest Titan a Titan. And that is the ability to rise after a fall. The story Jeff tells isn’t just that figuratively, -- it is that literally. It’s the story of what goes on in the mind of someone with such unshakeable conviction and focus on desired outcome, that even when they crash their bike going at speeds of more than 60km/hour during the 180km ride that precedes the full marathon in his iron event – that he will get back up on his bike and persevere. So I didn’t want to largeness of his message to hide in the final quarter of our talk. I wanted it to have its own space, its own room to breathe. It’s just that important – because it applies to us all. I said it last week, and I will say it again, this is a guy who personifies all that we admire in the best of humanity – he is devoid of pretension, he personifies hard work, he is the embodiment of his life philosophy: “Get ugly.” But Jeff is anything but physically ugly – his kind of ugly is the ugly that happens when you leave it all on the line. When you let the sweat and the grime and guts of pursuit ooze from wherever it is that sweat and grime and guts ooze as you stare-down the finish line. That’s the kind of single-focused, push through the pain and discomfort “ugly” he talks about in this short story.
The reason I started this series, is so that my two daughters, Majella (who we call JouJou) and Burgess (who we call Birdie) will have an inventory of inspiring conversations with paradigm-busters to draw upon for those times in their lives when they feel stuck. Each conversations give me the gift of at least one perspective shift – a new way of looking at the situation. And I want to thank Jeff for reminding me that the most rewarding experiences aren’t the ones where we do the best, they’re the ones where we overcome the most adversity.