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.


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.