Every time I go through a training regimen and gear up for a race I like to do two things; pick a song that will be deemed my training ‘theme song’ and, pick a mantra that I write on my shoes.
The song idea came from the second marathon I trained for. Without thinking about it beforehand I always made sure to listen to the same song as I started a run. In my mind it helped me remember that I was training and served as a reminder that each run was more than an individual run, but it was a part of a bigger goal. Also, as lame as it may sound it simply put me in a good mood as I ensured I liked the first song I was listening to. When your first half mile is good, it sets you up for a better run altogether.
Writing a mantra on the shoe was a fun way to remind myself of what my goal was, or what I could turn to for motivation during the race if I needed a little extra push. It also turned into a practical way to monitor what shoes I wore during certain races – and if I had too many mantras on one shoe, it signaled it was probably time to get new shoes!
Way back in May I decided that my theme song for Ironman training would be: “I’ll make a man out of you” – the main song from the movie Mulan. As I described here, the lyrics seem to fit really well, even the words about swimming! The song definitely puts me in a good mood when I hear it, because I often think back to my years in Germany when the guys would sing that song over and over again. Hearing the song brings back memories of Sang-Jin, Army, Johann and Sunshine, to name a few of the Sonne guys who blessed the dorm with that song.
The mantra I have written on my shoes for the Ironman is: Be a man. It obviously coordinates very well with the song and will remind me of that while running. Additionally, my school this year has adopted the theme of; BE. We are encouraging our students to think more about what they want to be, and hoping that we can enable them to BE individuals who identify with, represent, and live out what it means to BE in a life-changing relationship with Jesus Christ. Throughout all my workouts my mind is constantly going in different directions and I have often thought of lesson plans and/or speeches I will give in our Chapel services. Through my training, it has given me time to contemplate what it means to be a man of God to the students I interact with daily.
And, at the end of the day on Sunday September 11, 2016, I am hoping that I can cross the finish line not only knowing that this journey has helped me to; Be a man, but it has also led me to; Be an Ironman.