Posted by: David D. Daggett | May 12, 2008

The Door

The Door

     Last week we discussed Training with Family, which seems to be a frequent topic for triathletes. We briefly used hitting the wall as a metaphor. So, this week are going to explore whether there is a door in the wall.

     “The Door” for me is what I call total integration. This is not easy, and I continually have to work at and reevaluate how I am doing. Integration also, I believe, relates to a common question I receive regarding how to stay motivated over an extended period of time.

I have been at this “game” for a long time. Over the years I have seen ‘em come and I’ve seen ‘em go. I think longevity/motivation/etc. is more based on a fitness lifestyle that is totally integrated into your life. Segmenting life seems like continually squeezing a balloon in that some parts are always popping out, taking priority, and distorting the whole.

Total integration allows family, Ironman, work, spirituality, etc all continually progress along a natural continuum. We previously explored some of these issues in looking at our anchors in life. That certainly isn’t to say that the integration doesn’t have its fit and starts, it just doesn’t jump around in discontent.

I personally don’t believe you can have whole life integration while training 20+ hours a week, along with all of life’s (non-pro) other responsibilities. The trade off is that I’m not quite as fast as may be possible. However, my goal is to be as fast as optimal based on keeping everything fully integrated. The result is that going into IM # 17 last October in Hawaii I really didn’t have any waxing and waning as far as motivation.

It’s my lifestyle, and that’s what I do – and I love it! However, I do have to continually work to keep the balance. People also ask if you can continue to train and race as a full time lawyer, or doctor, or any other profession. I’ve been at the law game about 23 years. The entire time at the same small firm . To me there seems to be a number of fairly simple principles to follow, and they all go right back to integrating your anchors..

We need to look at the values and culture of where we are or are going to make sure our fit is right – this isn’t a “right or wrong” but it is a conscious choice. Those values and cultures need to fit our personal “anchors” or we will never be successful or happy. Then, we need total integration of your anchors into everything else.

All of this may be a bit philosophical but all the folks I know who are successful and happy have a similar formula. It is the door in the wall on the path to success.

Next week are “Some Keys” to the door.



  1. […] Now that we have some keys to open the door in the wall of Ironman training with family, let’s look at what the schedule might look like. I […]

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