Find your pace
Last week, we talked about my experience with the swim portion of the Lake Lanier Island Sprint Triathlon, which I recently participated in. We left off at the very end of the swim when I was finally able to make it past the crowd and start swimming normally.
As I stood up and started to run out of the water, Ashley cheered me on. I ran off the beach, across the bridge and began the quarter-mile run up to where my bike was waiting for me, along with the rest of my gear.
I was panting from the swim and uphill run as well as the excitement as I entered the transition — the area where athletes keep their equipment to change from one sport to the next. I quickly toweled off, put on my clothes, lifted my bike off the stand where it was hanging by the seat and walked out.
I got to the start line, jumped on my bike, and I was literally off to the races.
The bike portion was a beautiful, 13-mile ride. It followed the road that brings people into the Lake Lanier Island Park, and I got to watch the sun come up over the lake. It was nice.
But as I pedaled along, I began to realize this was going to be a more difficult feat than I had anticipated because of all of the hills.
Going up the hills I was giving it all I had and reaching speeds of only 7 and 8 mph. Going down the hills was fun though. I actually reached a top speed of 31.8 mph. The speed limit in the park was 35 mph and I thought to myself “I’m almost breaking the speed limit.”
Everything was going great … until I got to mile three. That’s when I discovered that hanging my bike by the seat had loosened the seat bolt. While I was standing on the pedals going up a hill, my seat suddenly tilted straight up in the air and poked me in the underside. Then, it started tilting freely up and down as I rode. This made for a very uncomfortable 10-mile ride because no matter what I did, I felt like I was about to fall off my seat, which slowed me down.
But I made it back to the transition, stowed my bike and headed out for the run.
During the run, I thought about what I noticed with the other athletes. There seemed to be no visible rhyme or reason when it came to people’s ability and athleticism. I saw people who looked very fit gassed out and stopped on the side of the road, and I saw people who appeared to be overweight just killing it.
Equipment didn’t seem to play a major role in performance. I saw expensive triathlon bikes get passed by inexpensive mountain bikes and vice versa.
Competitor age was not a huge factor either. You see, the officials write your age on the back of your calf. I’ll never forget struggling up one of those big hills and then suddenly feeling a gust of wind as a 76-year-old man came barreling past me and everyone else. It was inspiring.
As I ran along, I related what I was seeing with how people perform in real estate investing. There really seems to be no correlation between age and ability. I have seen people with all kinds of marketing, technological skills and training from big seminars fail while people going door to door with a pencil and paper are succeeding. I have seen people doing 20 deals a month barely scraping by, and I’ve seen people do two flips a year and live comfortably.
And then it dawned on me: There is no comparison here. Your success is based off your drive. In essence, you are in your own race for success. And you have run it on your terms and at your own pace. You cannot compare yourself to others. Zig Ziglar said that success is not a measure of what you do compared to others. Instead, success is a measure of what you did versus what you were capable of.
That concept rings true in a triathlon, but it also rings true on the financial field. You have to run your race and find the pace that works for you in order to finish financially free. And do not compare what that means to you with what it means to others. It has to be your pace, because it’s you who has to make it across the finish line.
At the end of the day, I found my pace. I finished. I’m a triathlete, and that’s something not everyone can say. I’m grateful for this opportunity, and I look forward to the next one.
Joe and Ashley English buy houses and mobile homes in Northwest Georgia. For more information or to ask a question, go to www.cashflowwithjoe.com or call Joe at 678-986-6813.