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Why Ironman is Like Natural Childbirth

A friend of mine, Bonnie, wrote a hilarious Facebook note.  I know Bonnie from our former Olympic-style weightlifting days. She’s also turned endurance athlete (although…she is much more “athlete” than I!).  She has two beautiful children brought into this world by 100% natural childbirth (awesome!) and a new baby girl on the way.  Oh, and she did her first marathon in March, averaging a sub ten minute mile pace, which leaves me picking my jaw off the ground.  Her husband is an Ironman.  (What a group of slackers. Ha!)

Here’s her post!

“Two years ago my husband completed his first Ironman triathlon in Louisville, KY. Having never participated in an Ironman competition-it was hard for me to imagine what one would be like. 

But as I listened to him describe the life changing experience it sounded very familiar. It sounded a lot like natural childbirth-which I have experienced. 

I decided to list the similarities and this is what I came up with:
• Both events are preceded by multiple trips to the bathroom. (some are false alarms caused by nerves)
• Initial excitement slowly fades to self-doubt and towards the end you find yourself thinking, or saying or SCREAMING, “I will NEVER do this again!”
• They both can last anywhere from 8-24 hours. (Ironmen are lucky here because the have a “cutoff” at 17 hours)
• Both require extreme physical and mental determination to finish.
• In both cases “transition” needs to be as short as possible.
• All pain is momentarily eclipsed by sheer ecstasy upon completion
• Shortly after the event your body starts reminding you of what you have just been through.
• When you finish you feel like you can do anything! (and you can!)
• You can be proud FOR LIFE of the monumental achievement you’ve accomplished.
• You walk funny for at least a week.
• At some point you suffer from amnesia and “sign up” for the next one!

I guess the only person who can accurately compare the two would be a women who has experienced both- I would LOVE to talk to that woman…Who knows-maybe I’ll be able to tell you one day!” 

You can read more from Bonnie Clark at her blog: The Crazy Clark Crew.

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