3rd Thursdays - The Small Victories Add Up

"It's something unpredictable, but in the end it's right, I hope you have the time of your life."
-Billie Joe Armstrong (Green Day)

Welcome to 3rd Thursdays, a quick-read monthly newsletter for the 3rd Thursday of every month to help make room for more abundance.  

10 years ago on August 29, 2010, I was literally off to the races. Ironman Canada - 2.4 miles swim, 112 mile bike, 26.2 mile marathon. This was the culminating event to celebrate my 10th year of remission from brain cancer.

The evening before the race, one of my best friends, Jesse Viner, was at a Green Day concert and left me a voicemail as Billie Joe Armstrong sang, "Time of Your Life". It was the last sound I heard before I fell asleep with a wake time of 4:30am the following morning and it brought me to tears of joy.

My official training for Ironman Canada was a 12 month process that covered over 2500 miles of training between swimming biking and running.  For context that's greater than the coast-to-coast expanse of the continental United States.  I had a HUGE setback along the way yet I showed up every day.

When race day came around, I had 3 simple strategies...

1 - Pace Yourself
2 - Never let yourself to go hungry
3 - Enjoy the day

I also had timing goals. One was to finish the 2.4 mile swim and be on the bike in less than 90 minutes. I finished the swim in 1h 18m and was on the bike 7 minutes later (#winning). 

I began to cry about 15 miles into the bike ride as I felt a strong presence with my dad whom had passed away 6 months earlier. He was right there with me. I would finish the 112 mile bike leg in less than 6h 10m.

It rained during the last 10 miles of the bike ride and I was drenched. I came prepared with 2 pairs of socks for the marathon leg of the course. I gave one pair to a fella named Matt Shutske who's feet were soaked and didn't have a dry pair of socks (he later found me on Facebook and told me those socks saved his life.  We still stay in touch.)  It was an 8+ minute transition to the run and when I looked at the clock 7h 41m had elapsed.

My goal time for the race was sub 13 hours.  Sub 12 would've been a dream finish. As I started the marathon, I began to believe in the possibility I could finished the entire damn race in less than 12 hours. The race began at 7am. What if...

My friend and accomplished triathlete, Dave Fish, had been my Ironman mentor that year and I owe much of my success to how I performed in that race to him.

About 6 weeks prior to Ironman Canada I bonked hardcore during a big swim and run workout. After the bonk workout Dave asked, "What pace do you want to run the marathon in Canada?" I said around a 9 minute pace.

Dave replied, "You should probably rethink that. You don't want this to happen to you in Canada. You should adjust your pace expectation to 10 to 11 minutes per mile. Then at 15 miles if you're feeling it, pick up the pace."

I took Dave's advice to heart and applied the strategy to my race at Ironman Canada. I would go on to finish the 2nd half of the marathon leg with a negative 20 second split.

I would finish Ironman Canada with a time of 11h 57m 24s.

When I was diagnosed with brain cancer in May 1999, I never thought in a million years that I'd ever cross the finish line of an Ironman event.  Then again, I never thought in a million years I'd be diagnosed with brain cancer.

My challenge for you on this 3rd Thursday is to simply acknowledge the little things that don't cost a thing.  Brick by brick, stone by stone, grain by grain, they all amount to something.

As I say in my keynote, "It's the accumulation of small victories that lead to our greatest moments."  Those small victories are often born by the stories, actions, or accomplishments of another fellow human being.  Be grateful for them.

Finally, describe the feeling when that task has been accomplished and the space you've created in your mind to allow for more abundance.  Find a reason to celebrate, even if it's a self affirmation, "Yep, I got this".

Thank you for your time.  Stay tuned for the next issue of 3rd Thursdays on Thursday, October 15, 2020.  If you're diggin' the vibe check out some of my Ironman 2010 pics on Instagram toward the end of August.   

With Gratitude,

Danny Heinsohn
Keynote / B2B Sales Leader / Scholarship Giver
Transform Obstacles into Results

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