What the Ironman Triathlon Can Teach You About Blogging

You gotta love Aslan. I mean, come on – there’s nothing more impressive than the kingly Narnian to capture attention.

Which is exactly how Marcus Sheridan caught mine.

He caught it twice when he sent me this guest post. At first, I was too busy for the video… but then I watched. Then I read the post. And now I’m sharing it with you.

Although there are certainly many metaphors that could describe the life of a blogger, I personally would relate it to the most famous test of human endurance and achievement in the world:

The Ironman Triathlon.

Before we go further, please take three minutes of your day and watch the following video. Yes, I know you’re likely in a hurry and quickly skimming this article for helpful nuggets of information, but this will be one of the most memorable 3-minute videos you’ll ever watch online.

And maybe no other relates more to your determination in life.

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MTn1v5TGK_w

Ironman Crawl

Now for the lessons learned:

1. The Human Body and Mind Is Capable of Incredible Things

2.4 miles swimming in a frigid, rough ocean….112 miles of strenuous biking….26.2 miles of running—all in one day. Such staggering numbers are inconceivable to most people.

Until they decide it’s actually possible and then make it happen.

The same is absolutely true with blogging as well. It’s easy for the ‘little guys’ out there (like me) to look at a Seth Godin or copyblogger or Men with Pens and think, “That’s just impossible. I’ll never get where they are.”

The truth is that we all start at ground zero. We all had to get our first subscriber.

And with enough hard work, diligence, and effort we can certainly achieve monumental goals we never thought possible.

2. Setting the Proper Pace

Just like every successful triathlon racer, every blogger must learn to set the right pace.

This is especially true for newer bloggers. Come out the gates too fast and you’ll be dead half-way through the race. Start off too slow and your blog may never get any traction.

Although pace (determined by post frequency, post length average, comments on other blogs, and more) may be a tough idea to grasp for bloggers, at least it creates certain goals that can be very beneficial and motivating.

3. Competitors Make Us Better

For the most part, triathletes in the Ironman appreciate other participants. These people could be viewed as competitors, but most racers realize that other particiipants bring the best out of their performance.

This is one thing I love about the blogosphere. In almost every corner, bloggers do want their peers to succeed, even though they may be involved in the same niche. For example, instead of trying to ‘outdo’ their competition, Men With Pens and Copyblogger work hand-in-hand in a synergistic effort to create better content for their readers.

This is what the blogging community is all about. And the more we all have an abundance mentality in terms of helping others, the more we’ll be blessed and benefit as well.

4. Just Finish the Race….No Matter How or What It Takes

When it comes to the Ironman, it’s not about what place you earned when you finish the race – it’s that you cross the finish-line. Period.

Watching the two incredible women in the video cross that Ironman finish line is a powerful reminder of that we should always finish our tasks.

As we get ideas and inspiration to write certain posts or initiate certain projects, we need to do what it takes to ‘cross the finish line’ no matter what comes our way. We mustn’t allow the distractions of everyday life to deter us from the goals we’ve set. We know achieving them will lead to joy and satisfaction.

So the next time you’re down and out with your blog, or if you’re stumped as to how to finish an article, just keep with it. Do what it takes. Keep moving forward to the finish line.

5. It Isn’t About Being in 1st Place

Okay, so be honest: How many of you thought that these two women were fighting for first place? I certainly thought so the first time I watched the video. They were actually trying to be fourth, not first.

And think about it for a second – does anyone know who actually won the women’s Ironman that year (without Googling it)? Very few people do, simply because Sian Welch and Wendy Ingraham captured hearts around the world as they battled. Literally, these two women could not have given an ounce more strength and energy, and this is why over 1,000,000 people have watched this video in complete and total awe.

I think too often bloggers get caught up in the numbers of more established and ‘successful’ blogging icons and become dejected about their own position.

To me, blogging isn’t about first place. It’s about everything Welch and Ingraham exemplify: effort, determination, and undaunted faith. By sharing these characteristics, we’ll win the hearts of readers… just as Welch and Ingraham won the hearts of the world,.

About the author: Liked this post? Then subscribe to Marcus Sheridan’s blog, The Sales Lion, where he’s been known to write some pretty sweet stuff on sales, marketing, and How to be Freaking Awesome.

Post by Marcus Sheridan

About the author: Liked this post? Then subscribe to Marcus Sheridan's blog, The Sales Lion, where he's been known to write some pretty sweet stuff on sales, marketing, and How to be Freaking Awesome.

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  1. Patrick Vuleta says:

    The message is a good one, though it’s about first place in a way.

    While it may be true that Men with Pens, Copyblogger and Seth Godin (as mentioned) don’t view each other as direct competitors, each of these people or businesses did something *first* and are now known for it.

    Beyond simply hard physical slogging, a triathlon requires great mental exertion to not give up. Online business or blogging requires a degree of mental exertion to continually position yourself apart from the crowd so you can be seen as distinct, and first in your own way. This, however, takes work, and can’t be let up from.

    You’re not running anyone else’s race. You’re running your own, and should strive to be first place in that.

    • Interesting point Patrick, and I do see where you’re coming from. I think the key to what you said is that all those guys are first in their own unique way.

      I think a lot of bloggers, when they are thinking ‘#1′, they are simply looking at maybe subscriber numbers or Alexa or whatever and then getting dejected. But this can’t be our sole focus. Notwithstanding, we can all finish #1 because each and every one of us has a unique mix of talents, skills, and styles…Sometimes it just might take a while to discover what those are.

      Appreciate the comment Patrick!

  2. I love this I love this I love this. I’m usually skeptical of metaphor posts as I think they’re overdone, but you hit the nail on the head here and I couldn’t have said it better myself!

    • And I love that you loved it, loved it, loved it Marian ;-) ….I was a little worried about the metaphor thing as well…as they can get old. But I’ve shared this video at the end of many marketing presentations and seminars I’ve given in the past and every time it produces such a powerful emotional response from viewers that I knew other writers would see, feel, and appreciate its powerful metaphorical meaning.

      And I’m dang glad James gave it a look too ;-)

      A pleasure Marian. Thanks for commenting.

      • Hey Agent X,
        Huge emotions here, if you are like me, it may have filled your eyes with tears the first time you saw this video.
        The metaphor is absolutely perfect. Blogging, amongst other arts, is a long run where questions like adopting “the right pace,” are extremely important.
        Life is about crossing lines, everyone has lines he/she dreams of crossing.
        Sometimes we may think it’s impossible, but just because there are an overwhelming number of obstacles to overcome doesn’t necessarily mean it’s impossible to achieve.
        Lately, I found myself thinking about joining some sports competitions, I will do it as soon as it will be possible, before it’s too late.
        Thanks you for this adrenaline-charged article, really very inspiring : )

        SSG

      • Oh! I just realised that “Agent X” was not you, Marcus, sorry! (I was thinking you used that nickname for branding reasons etc.. turns out it’s rather a username to post guest posts)

        So again, thank you very much Marcus for this deep and highly inspiring article, Kudos to James too : )

  3. This is great stuff, thanks for pumping me up this morning!

  4. I love this post. Blogging isn’t a sprint and it is so easy to lose momentum after the first few fun months. Get the headspace right and you’re halfway there. Thanks for reminding me

    • You’re absolutely right Kathy. I’ve been blogging for a couple of years now in a few different industries and it amazes me how many bloggers and writers shoot out the gates only to stumble by the end of the first 60 days. If someone is blogging (or racing) properly, then things should actually get easier and easier.

      For example, most of my articles today take about 20-35 minutes to actually write. A year ago the same articles would take 60-90 minutes. The brain, body, and mind get faster and faster the longer we stay in the race.

      So keep chugging along Kathy and thanks for commenting. :-)

  5. Two thoughts:

    I thought the most impressive part of the video was AFTER Wendy beat Sian, she reached back and pulled Sian’s hand over the finish line. Wendy showed more than just a competitor’s determination to win, she showed her human side.

    You don’t just show up at an Ironman(woman) Triathlon, both Wendy and Sian must have practiced hundreds of hours on each of the swimming, biking and running parts of it. As bloggers, we have to practice our own Triathlon of skills: ideas, writing and marketing.

    Thanks for the morning energizer.

    • Keen observations Mary. I’m with ya. Wendy would have been a wonderful networker, don’t you agree? :-) Seriously, the blogosphere, at least in my book, is the mecca of Wendy Ingrams. Sure there are people out there that may have a scarce mentality and not want to ‘reach out’ to lend others a hand, but for the majority, they recognize they were once an average Joe writer or blogger, just looking to make a little headway….seeking desperately for that mystic ‘finish line’.

      Writing does require practice. Like you said, we simply have to dedicate and invest the time. But it all pays off, no doubt.

      Thanks for such a thoughtful comment Mary.

  6. Thanks Marcus. Great encouraging tips to keep the tough blogging when the blogging gets tough. Slow and steady has kept me looking forward to writing my posts.

    Honestly, though, I thought the two women would stand up and “help” each other cross the finish line and both be fourth. That’s what I wanted to see.

    Am I crazy?

    I see this “helping” attitude with bloggers who’ve made it like James, who encourage so many of us bloggers/writers to submit posts and then publish them. I’m sure it’s easier to write your own posts.

    Food for blogging thought! Thanks, G.

    • Not quite sure what you mean, and I’m actually curious to know more about the fourth paragraph – expand?

      • Patrick Vuleta says:

        My interpretation of the comment is that it would be easier for you to write your own posts instead of publishing guest posts and so getting exposure for them. It was complimentary, I think. :)

      • Hi James!

        Yes, Patrick read my comment as intended. James and other bloggers who’ve made it big help the rest of us “up and comers” gain exposure by publishing our guest posts. I can only imagine the time it takes to read through posts, interface with selected writers, make edits, etc. We’re not really encouraged to share the limelight in our competitive world.

        I’m quite thankful I had my article published on this site.

        Most complimentary comment, indeed! (Thanks Patrick.)

        G.

    • I think I gotcha Giulietta. Yeah, a double 4th place would have been pretty cool too, but if I may reiterate what I expressed in the article, did the place really matter at that point? It was the journey that I will always take from this scene. The ultimate push to be your best ‘you’. The ability for us as humans to be greater than we previously imagined by allowing others to motivate, inspire, and therefore maximize our abilities.

      James does have this ‘sharing’ mentality— Letting chumps like me have a piece of center stage can be a scary thing for a blogger that has built a meager audience of 35k+ ;-)

      But James gets it….and gives back….and I’m sure experiences the reciprocity because of it.

      Thanks so much for your thoughts Giulietta.

  7. I really like what was said in #3. Competitors Make Us Better

    It is so true. Competitors provide us inspiration and a baseline to measure our own efforts.
    We’re also able to identify the most with our competitors by our common struggles, ‘wins’, and ‘loses’.

    • Well said Mark. Competition, in many ways, is what makes the world go round. Otherwise, most people, companies, etc would sit back and rest on their past successes. Personally, as a business owner of 10 years, I love the idea of competition. It’s what got me into blogging in the first place. It’s what inspires me to stay educated and sharp at what I do. It’s what causes me to see a much bigger picture than I saw before.

      Notwithstanding all these things though, I earnestly to feel there is enough room at the top for everyone, assuming we share an ‘open source’ approach to life and business.

      Continued success Mark, and much thanks for commenting. :-)

  8. Wow- even the Grinch (before his heart grew two sizes that day) couldn’t help but be moved by that video! I was feeling a little “meh. It’s Friday” before this popped in my RSS reader. Thanks for the awesome kick in the pants!

  9. This video will give anyone the courage to make those dreams come true..if she can run 100 miles..we sure can do a little blogging here and there..

    “Black Seo Guy “Signing Off”

    • Yup, isn’t that the truth TC. I think it’s funny that sometimes we might sit down before a post and feel like we’ve got some insurmountable odds ahead of us…and then we watch a vid like this one and all the sudden our paradigm takes a big, fat 180.

      Thanks for the comment TC.

  10. Good post Marcus,

    I think the thing that touched me most about the video is after the race…someone yells “pick her up” “help her”…I know when I started in AA, I didn’t know what to do or say but people I never had met or knew said they were glad to see me there…or can I help you.?

    Sometimes starting the journey helps you find other people that want to help..because you need it and it also helps the helper..Some of my best learning experiences happen when I am helping.

    Just starting my little blog, you take it one day at a time..

    Thanks again for a great topic.

    • That was a thoughtful comment, Joe, and an unexpected extra bonus angle on the message of the video and post. We don’t know if the “pick her up” people were teammates or strangers, but I agree – when people work so hard for something and have given it there all (by completing a marathon or by coming to the realization that help is needed)… then it is good to support them.

      Thanks for that.

    • Dang Joe, that was powerful, really powerful. You pointed out a lesson here that I hadn’t even considered– the power of helping. And, like you so wisely observed, it is often times the ‘helper’ who benefits the most.

      There isn’t a blogger, writer, or human being out there that doesn’t need some type of support from somebody. I, for one, find major strength from my community. Little emails, ‘thank yous’, mentions, and comments all combine to help we look forward and smile, day in and day out. As a blogger, I am, like you said, ‘The Helper’, but no one has benefited more from my own words than me.

      Continued success with your life and ‘little blog’ Joe. You’re a good man.

    • @Joe + @James + @Marcus :

      Your comments are very enriching, they let me look at the finish line a little differently:
      First and without thinking much about it, I really enjoyed how that guy screamd “STOP RIGHT THERE!!!” to Sian Welch as soon as she crossed the minimum required line to validate her 5th place.
      Maybe he was a doctor, or a health specialist, because he knew that she could be in danger, and when someone held her in his arms, you could read the mind of that health-caring guy just by looking at him: “please be careful and let her BREATH for the moment!!!”
      Now let’s say that crossing the finish line means “success”
      Then to me the “STOP RIGHT THERE!!!” could be a “conciousness alert” after achieving a major success, and that conciousness would recommend just one thing: “BREATH”
      Breathing could be just taking well deserved hollidays, or… engaging other dreams in life.

      In Internet Marketing for example, I think it happened to John Reese. That “STOP RIGHT THERE!!!” kind of conciousness-alert thing (even though he said he was thinking about it before). Crossing the line of a major success, and then retire to chase other dreams, targeting new finish lines.
      This maybe a cool idea if you planify your “post-success” projects in advance, and have many passions that allow you to do that : )

  11. Powerful stuff, Marcus. Sir Edmund Hillary said “It is not the mountains we conquer, but ourselves.” Competition is a rock that we sharpen ourselves on. Though in the end, it’s not about being better than anybody else, it’s about being better than you used to be. Those Ironwomen are not battling against each other, but against their own fatigue and the pleading of their bodies to stop. Is blogging like an Ironman? I don’t know dude, I’m new. But I think for mine, I’ll be choosing a different frame. Not a race to the finish line but the thrill of the chase. To exploring new horizons. Peace.

    • Let me assure you that after several years of blogging, there definitely are days where it feels like the Ironman… ;)

    • The Thrill of the Chase…..Can I get a ‘Heck Yeah’ for that one Lach?!!

      You’ve really added a nice angle here Lach. It’s easy to get way too caught up in the end results that we actually sabotage the journey. Besides, what’s the end result when it comes to blogging? Personally, I ain’t gotta clue. I just know that I want to grow, teach, inform, learn, inspire, prosper, and look ahead always…while enjoying the simple triumphs as they come.

      Being here on MWP was one such simple Triumph. :-)

      Great comment Lach, thank you.

  12. Marcus,
    I’m deeply moved and inspired every time I watch that video. But I’ve never applied it to blogging.

    I especially liked your two points about competition and finishing the race. Synergy is real and we only help ourselves by helping others.
    Also, I believe it’s our obligation as bloggers to share the inspiration we receive with the world. Many of my most insightful stuff never ships…..need to change that!

    Thanks for the motivation and inspiration this morning. I always get a boost from your high octane posts.

    • Time to start shipping those insights Jason! ;-)

      I’m not sure if I understood synergy until I joined the blogging ranks and started to truly work on promoting and helping other people’s stuff on a daily basis. It has been an eye opening, and very rewarding, experience.

      What’s even cooler is that it’s just beginning. As soon as we ‘catch the vision’ of helping others, our minds start to run wild and the possibilities are endless.

      Great thoughts Jason, thank you.

  13. Marcus,

    I liked a lot of points in this post, but the one that stands out most is number 2.

    This is exactly the issue with so many people that start blogging (and online businesses) these days: they hit hard, they expect to make a big splash and reach success quickly.

    Pace is so key. Planning is at the core of pace and having a plan when you blog is also important. Successful bloggers are aware that they are running a business, whether they make money off the blog or not, they are out there for a reason.

    What are you trying to do? What do you provide? What is the next step in the race that will help you reach your goal? What is your exact goal (so you can know when it has been reached)?

    These are critical planning stages, both for racing and for blogging.

    Thanks for the Friday thought-provoker!

    -Matt

    • Wow Matt, that was great…Adding to your words, if you were to go up to 100 bloggers and ask them their specific goals, how many would actually be able to give something more than the generic ‘make lots of money’ or ‘quit my job’?

      Having a plan is a wonderful thing. Setting specific goals can make all the difference in the world. Like you said, whether you’re actually making money or not on your blog, it’s good to treat it like a business. This adds vision, clarity of purpose, and motivation during the difficult days.

      Thanks so much for the comment Matt!

  14. Paul Jespersen says:

    Great insight by Marcus.
    Personally, I hate those Ironman competitors because they always remind me how weak willed I am.
    The point is well made though – Triatholons, blogging, sales, and most things of value in life like our families, require dedication to be good, and laser focus to be great. You know those ladies are hurting as they exert themselves towards the finish. Sometimes it is hard to keep pushing towards a sale or being patient with a teenager, but the rewards are great for those who compete to the end.

    • Perspective, Paul. They might scream like terrified children when they see a harmless tiny spider… where you have the strength to crush it with your mighty shoe.

      (This was just an example. I do not advocate taking joy in mightily crushing spiders with shoes.)

    • You’re stronger than you think Paul ;-)

      You mention ‘Laser Focus’. I’m with you, as this adds perfectly to what Matt said above. I’ve seen bloggers that are like a boat without sail in the middle of the ocean, just drifting to and fro, wherever the wind and waves will take them.

      Then there is another set of bloggers (and fathers, mothers, professionals, etc) that literally cut through each and every wave, like a kayaker blowing through a set of rapids. I don’t know about you, but having a defined direction when goals are involved sure stinking helps.

      Very well said Paul, thanks so much for commenting.

  15. For an aspiring blogger this is sweet to the taste. I actually ran, well I should say “finished”, a marathon a few years ago as an over weight IT professional. Each one of these points are so true. Blogging is just like preparing and finishing a marathon.

  16. Mr. Sheridan: What an incredible story and metaphoric message. Beyond blogging, this story reaches out to me and reminds me/makes me aware of several things:
    (1) Impossibility is simply a mindset. A mindset that when one harbors; they CAN’T meet their unlimited potential. So, thinking in terms of anything is possible, no matter the physical and mental strain – will ensure that the finish line is crossed. (2) Endurance is key. Many people can run sprints – and that’s great, but in life longevity is the desire – so can they run cross-country? I choose endurance, because what I’m after will take time to develop, and will last a life time. (3) My biggest competitor is myself. When I win my self-limiting battles, I’m open to the world, and the brilliance that surrounds me. My mind opens allowing me to learn from the abilities of others. Also, community naturally wants its members to thrive. (4) Determination is persistence NEEDs to be equipped to finish the race. Like 4-wheel’ing, you can’t get far without 4-wheel drive. One MUST have determination and the will to finish the race – or else, all efforts are just about wasted. (5) First place is a mindset. I can be last, but I performed according to my pre-determined script, then I can say “I’m a winner”. It’s all about finishing the race.

    In terms of blogging – this article inspires me to see no limits with my potential; to establish a consistent pace for content output; to always give value to the blogging community by way of commenting and quality content; only start projects that I know that I’ll finish; and lastly, don’t focus on being number one, rather, giving the best value that I can.

    This was a very motivating article, one that I will personally pull from in times that I need a quick kick of encourage to endure whatever I’m experiencing. Thank you, peace.

    • Holy Shnikees JK, that was possibly better than the post itself! James, I think your next guest poster has just spoken ;-)

      Seriously though man, you’ve made some tremendous observations here:

      -For most of us, we are our biggest competition. We will make or break our ultimate failures or triumphs.

      -Persistence goes hand in hand with writing and blogging. There has never, ever, been a successful blogger/author/writer that didn’t, as you say, ‘put it in 4-wheel drive’. This is a moral imperative.

      -Endurance—there will be ups, there will be downs, there will be good days, there will be bad, and then there will be everything else in between. Such is the life we’ve all chosen.

      Thanks so very much for your powerful thoughts here JK.

  17. Great great post and point, Marcus!

    As one of the first comments said, you have to run your own race, but at the same time, you can’t view things as an us-against-them situation. What’s the famous quote… “A rising tide raises all boats”?

    If you help your colleagues (who might also be your “competitors in a sense) improve, it pushes you to improve, and yes, only one person can make THE MOST money or top the AdAge 150 list or whatever else, but the sense of camaraderie, sharing, and mutual coopetition makes things better for businesses/brand, customers/clients, and the market in general.

    Again, great post, man!

    • This was the perfect description of someone who sees ‘The Big Picture’ Eric. Well said. As I mentioned before, I don’t think I truly understood the big picture before I entered the blogosphere. It was all about Marcus when it came to my professional life. But, at some point, things just started clicking. Adding another quote to yours, it was the great Zig Ziglar who said:

      “If you help enough people get what they want, they’ll help you get everything you want”

      Once we understand this principle and actively live it, our lives and careers will skyrocket.

      Thanks for stopping by and commenting Eric. :-)

  18. During the 1969 Mexico City Olympics, one of the greatest Olympic stories occurred in this event. The last place-getter was a bloodied and bandaged Tanzanian named John Akhwari. When asked why he had continued on in such pain, he said: “My country did not send me 7,000 miles to start the race. They sent me 7,000 miles to finish.”

    In the same way we’ve all been “called” to our blogs, not to be one of the 133 million blogs that have started (according to Technorati since 2002), but to finish what we’ve started!

    – Contrarian

    • Hmmm, I hadn’t heard that one Contrarian, think I’ll be checking it out.

      I love how you said we’ve all been ‘called’ to our blogs. Yes….very nice way of putting it…and very true.

      At some point and time, we all felt something within tell us to start writing, start sharing our voice with the world.

      There is a reason why we get such promptings in this life….and that, as you said so perfectly Contrarian, is to finish what we’ve started.

      No regrets my friend. :-)

    • Hey Contrarian,

      I liked your example of that guy, he had a very big responsibility and a nice determination.
      When it comes to blogging, starting a blog can be very easy to do, and maintaining it for a “determined” period of time/attained relative objective can be organised, but what if you don’t know how much distance you are going tu run?
      Multiple small monthly check-points are possible, or even yearly check-points (or maybe xxx.xxx$ check-points), but what do you think could make the FINAL finish line for a blogger?

  19. GREAT post, Marcus! Wow.

    I’ve never seen that particular video before, but I’ve seen the one that is mentioned by the announcer at the end, the one with Julie Moss (from the early 80s, 82 or 83). If I’m remembering the video correctly, she IS in first place, and then the same thing happens at the finish line. Her body just gives out. She gets up 5 or 6 times and collapses every time. And then her a competitor passes her and she finishes second.

    Pretty epic stuff.

    The vast majority of people who do an Ironman Triathlon never expect to win the thing. FINISHING is the goal. And I think that directly applies to blogging. I don’t expect to be the next Copyblogger, but I want to finish the race as a professional blogger! I want my “competitors” to succeed as much as I want to succeed, because it’s not like their success hurts or penalizes me in any way.

    Again, great post Marcus. Thanks for sharing, man! This was a great way for me to start my day.

    • So glad you stopped in today Tristan. Yes, if anyone wants to continue with the inspired video, the one with Julie Moss collapsing at the finish line is as heart-wrenching as it gets.

      BTW, you mentioned you didn’t expect to be the next Copyblogger but for those of us that know you, Copyblogger might just be saying they want to be the next ‘Blogging Bookshelf’ in a few years if you keep up your incredible pace. Talk about exploding out the gates Tristan!! :-)

      Thanks man.

  20. Wow. That was an AMAZING video! What a true testiment of our inner spirit and determination! The energy of completion is something I think we haven’t thoroughly learned or completely have under VALUED.

    PS: I receive nothing less than something amazingly inspiring from Mr. Sheridan every time I read what comes out of his brain!. Great Post Marc!

    • Kind words Kerilyn, thank you. You’ve mentioned a phrase here I hadn’t really heard mentioned before–The Energy of Completion

      Now that I’ve heard it, I can clearly see it. The sense of fulfillment that comes with a completed goal is as empowering as it gets. At the same rate though, I guess we can say there is also a ‘negative energy’ that comes with not completing. Hmmm, I’m going to chew on this one some more.

      Thanks so much for your thought-provoking comment Kerilyn.

  21. Marcus,

    You are so right! he human mind and the human body are capable of great things. Life if much more than survival. It makes me so grateful I live in a country that allows for us to go for our full potential.

    I loved this post. So perfect for the New Year!

  22. WOW, Marcus. This video touched me to the core. So much so, that I’m actually pretty emotional right now just thinking about the determination of those two women to make it to 4th place. That’s dedication right there.

    Unlike some people here, I’m not too familiar with the Ironman Triathlon. I rarely watch television, let alone sports of any kind. Though, I do enjoy the X Games. But the determination of those two women was so complete – I couldn’t help but second guess my own efforts (or lack thereof).

    Absolutely marvelous post, Marcus. You make solid points here that everyone (not just bloggers) should utilize and set in stone.

    Determination pays off.

    You might not make it to first place, second, or even third – but more importantly, you WILL make it if you keep pushing yourself forward.

    Look at those two women. Even when every fiber of their being was telling them to stop running – that they reached their limit and their bodies were about to collapse – they didn’t give up. They kept on going, even if it meant going at a crawl.

    You can too if you really push yourself – if you want it enough.

    Great, motivational post Marcus.

    Christina

    • Wow Christina, thank you. Don’t beat yourself up though. You work harder than 90% of the world. You’re a tenacious writer and content producer. So don’t let these two ladies second guess the effort of your labors, as you’ve done well lady.

      Great comment Christina. :-)

  23. Inspiring and um, humbling – this is one of those weeks where I feel like I’ve been a bit lazy – need to pull it together! We could apply this wisdom to virtually any activity – and blogging is a very apt one these days. Getting in top form for an IronMan starts somewhere – usually with an average person – who puts in a lot of effort … any one of us can have the same results if we put in the hours and heart to achieve any goal.
    Congrats on a great guest post:)))

  24. For me, both inner journeys going on in both women in the video and your points numbers 4 and 5 spoke the loudest. Although blogging is a for the reader, obviously, what sets it apart from other online endeavors is the intensely personal aspect of the process. A blog without personality is just a site, just as an athlete with out heart is just an athlete who will never get to a point like the one in the video.

    This post is a wonderful boost for a cold winter’s day–a reminder that all we need is within us, and when we can dig deep and find it, others will see it too, and that’s when we cross the finish line. Thanks so much!

    • Wow Ande, something you said really struck me here:

      intensely personal aspect of the process

      I could not agree with that statement more. For me, everything I write starts with a personal experience and inner feeling. It’s my way of analyzing what life has taught me, and will therefore hopefully teach someone else….and it sure is intense, to say it in the least.

      So glad you stopped by Ande, thank you. :-)

  25. What a guest post! You certainly pulled out all the stops here Marcus!

    That video is truly inspiring; it’s amazing how much courage some people have. Actually, scratch that, it’s amazing how much courage we ALL have, that only some of us use.

    What amazes me is that human beings can be so diverse. Whilst one 40 year old is taking part in a triathlon, another 40 year old is slouching on a sofa watching T.V.

    Blogging is something where we should be like these brave runners, constantly fighting and never giving up to the easy temptation of quitting. If you quit the race, how can you expect to win?

    • Hi Stuart, awesome of you to stop by man :-) …Yes, we all have courage, as it’s not a gift given to a select few. The question is whether or not we’ll find it in the midst of life’s daily distractions and pitfalls.

      Blogging itself is an act of courage. It takes guts to put yourself out there and have an opinion. It ain’t easy knowing you’re in the spot light and people are judging the way you write, talk, act, think, etc. But as we’ve said time and time again, it’s worth it.

  26. Wow – I could hardly watch!

    Marcus you’ve found a truly inspiring analogy for all bloggers to use.
    How on earth did you come up with the comparison?
    How does your brain work?

    Looks as though I can’t make any more excuses for not finishing my posts on time.

    And – many congratulations for getting a spot on Men With Pens.
    Well deserved.

    • Ha Keith, thanks for the compliment :-) I’ve used this video is so many different presentations it’s not even funny…and it applies to every life/success principle and subject I can think of. Everything we do in life is a journey of some type. There are no exceptions. That’s why this video is so universal.

      Appreciate the comment Keith.

  27. call me the tortoise

  28. This was a great analogy, and one that I think will stick out for some time.

    Blogging can be hard. It can be damned hard at times. And sometimes you end up looking like a floppy mess trying to get stuff out there. Sometimes you have to crawl to get it finished. Sometimes other people will just fly by you while you’re flopping around, making you look amateur. But if you keep going, and you have that crowd to cheer you on, you’ll make it to the finish line.

    People will pick you up after you cross it. And you’ll have the satisfaction of knowing that you put every ounce of your being into it. Sometimes that matters more than what place you come in.

  29. Such a great message! It is so easy to get distracted by bright, shiny objects, and feel so intimidated by other bloggers with large audiences that it’s hard just to pick up the pen and complete your article. Thanks for reminding us to just take the first and last step. Don’t worry about the numbers. Don’t worry about the “bigger fish” in the pond. After all, everyone has to start with just ONE subscriber!

    Awesome :-)

    ~Thea

  30. Hi Marcus,

    What an excellent post my friend! Helping others succeed is crucial as well! It is all about helping ourselves and others so everyone wins at the same time :) In regards to the first point, I agree we have have the potential to be succeed and in big times. All those successful blogs started from the beginning just like ours. It all takes hard word and diligence. Thanks for sharing Marcus

  31. OUCH! Just watching that video made me tired :)

    Great comparison though. I’ve had ideas, started projects, and then have gotten caught up in something else, never to “finish the race”. Consistent blogging takes dedication and commitment that many people lack.

    This post, and others I’ve read this morning, is encouraging and reminds me that blogging life is a marathon, not a sprint.

    Thanks for the sound advise.

  32. Hi Marcus:

    I’m still speechless! Not being a runner myself, I have never in my entire life seen anything like this video! And being a brand new blogger, this video will, I’m sure, be forever identified in my mind with blogging. What an amazing job of communicating. Really – it was stunning! I will be subscribing to both Men with Pens and the Sales Lion the minute I’ve posted this comment. This stuff is so good that my biggest fear is that I won’t get any of my regular work done. (I am a self-employed web developer that after 11 years of using my own in-house content management system, just took the plunge to becoming a WordPress developer compete with blogging). Thanks again.

  33. Just came across your blog today from RON, I think your blog post is touching and full of concepts and ideas. Copyblogger and the likes sacrificed immediate get rich quick and built a long lasting blog. Today, they are remembered for their good works. It’s a lesson for all of us.

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