Wednesday, December 19, 2012

You Are An Ironman - by Jacques Steinberg

This book is an inspirational look into the lives of six ordinary people and their decision to attempt an Ironman.  For anyone not familiar with triathlon, an Ironman event consists of a 2.4 mile open water swim followed by a 112 mile bike ride, and completed with a full marathon (26.2 mile) run. Achieving Ironman status requires completion of the course within 17 hours.  It represents one of the highest achievements in endurance sports.

It is hard not be be inspired by people who, for various reasons and out of different circumstances, commit to a seemingly unattainable goal and then put in the work and make the sacrifices necessary to meet their goal.  The author is clear in his disclaimer that this is not a training manual by any stretch of the imagination.  Rather I would describe it as an engaging documentary of sorts that interweaves the stories of six different Ironman aspirants.  The book introduces their background; provides the details that led each of them to register; highlights some of the ups and downs in their training regimen; and ultimately, exposes the reader to their individual Ironman experiences on race day.

I am not a triathlete (or an endurance athlete of any kind) but was very motivated by these stories that demonstrate real-life drive and commitment enabling the accomplishment of truly astonishing things.

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