There is a 63-year-old gentleman I befriended a few years ago when I lived in Columbia and attended First Baptist Church. He and his wife are some of the best human beings you’ll ever meet. They helped lead our young married couples Sunday school class.

He is a devout Christian, amazing family man, and a successful businessman. He’s quiet and humble. I’ve always looked up to him as the kind of man I want to be. Oh, and one more thing. He is an Ironman. Multiple times over.

Every Wednesday he would buy breakfast for me and a few other young man from our Sunday school class. It was his way of bringing young Christian men together to support one another and to serve as a sort of mentor. This was around the same time I was beginning my athletic journey. I honestly couldn’t believe his stories when I asked him what he did before breakfast. Hours in the pool, miles on the road and even more miles on the bike.

I couldn’t believe a human could do those things, and is still doing, especially at his age. He was the only Ironman I knew and to this day, despite finishing my fair share of endurance events, I still stand in awe of that accomplishment. I’ve been obsessed with it for years, all because of him. Now I’m ready. I’m ready to begin my journey to become an Ironman.

I just finished an insane string of events. Now it’s time to identify my next goals and start training… lightly and slowing (more on that in a later blog). Those goals are…

1. Become an Ironman
2. Run a 3:30 marathon
3. Run a 50 mile ultra marathon
4. Continue learning through GORUCK

I love the GORUCK community and I’m super pumped they’re launching new events, such as Constellation, where they teach urban survival during a crisis. I’ll keep doing new events to learn new skills and occasionally an event that all my boys sign up for, but honestly, I’m pretty done carrying heavy shit event after event. I’ve carried enough heavy shit for enough hours that I’m pretty confident I can accomplish that task. =) I’m just ready for something new.

My top priorities are regaining my health, speed and endurance. I’ll stop spreading myself too thin by by going back and forth between runs and GORUCK events. I’ll ruck and I’ll continue strength training, but it’s not to carry heavy shit. It’s to become a longer and faster endurance athlete. I believe weekly rucking does that.

So on to triathlons. Just one problem – I can’t really swim. More on that later. I’ll continue updating on how my training is going.
For now, I’m laying out my 2017 – 2018 schedule in hopes that a few of my F3 brothers will take this Ironman journey with me. I could use the extra push and accountability.

Here’s how my 2017 – 2018 event schedule is shaping up:

Jan 14 – Charleston Marathon
Feb 11 – GORUCK Light – Charleston
Feb 17 – GORUCK Heavy – Ft Bragg
Feb 26 – GORUCK Advanced FAD
March 13 – Asheville Marathon
March 24 – Palmetto 200 – Ultra Team
May 21 – Triathlon Sprint Series 1 (maybe – swimming skills may not be ready yet)
June 18 – Triathlon Sprint Series 2
July 9 – Triathlon Sprint Series 3
July 15 – GORUCK Tough – Charleston
July 30 – Triathlon Sprint Series 4
Aug 13 – Triathlon Sprint Series 5
Sept 8 – Blue Ridge Relay – Ultra Team
Sept 17 – Kiawah Triathlon – Olympic distance
Sept 22 – GORUCK Constellation – St Augustine
Oct 21 – Half Ironman – Wilmington
Nov 11 – Sweet Tea Half Marathon
** Nov / Dec – Marathon TBD
Jan 4- Disney – The Dopey 5k
Jan 5- Disney – The Dopey 10k
Jan 6 – Disney – The Dopey Half Marathon
Jan 7 – Disney – The Dopey Marathon
March 2017 – Peyton’s Wild and Whacky 50k
March 2017 – Palmetto 200 – Ultra Team
May 21 – Half Ironman – Chattanooga, TN
Nov 4 – Full Ironman – Panama City, FL
TBD 2018 – Ultra Marathon – 50 mile
TBD 2018 – Marathon
TBD 2018 – 2 GRTs