If

If you can fill the unforgiving minute

With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run
Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,
And – which is more – you’ll be a Man my son! – Rudyard Kipling, “If”

The poem “If” by Rudyard Kipling is a favorite of Chrissie Wellington. In his latest column, Ryan Schneider, author of LAVA’s “Mind Games,” which focuses on the mental side of sport, covers Chrissie’s comeback from the disappointment of DNSing at Kona in 2010 as the 3x consecutive champion. He was kind enough to let me ramble on to him on a rainy SoCal day in Starbucks, fueled by hot chocolate (with whipped creme) about my own comeback (not yet completed with a smashing of the Ironman World Record) and the challenges I overcame. In all cases (sorry Chrissie and Ryan), we are way overshadowed by Kipling, who summarizes it and phrases it beautifully. It’s worth reading the article, even if you only read Kipling’s words, which are thankfully italicized to separate them from Ryan’s fine prose and the thoughts of two athletes who are simply fortunate enough to have challenges which could be overcome.

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