Do Hard Things – Why I Refuse to Give Up

Do Hard Things – Why I Refuse to Give Up

So here’s a crazy story….

In January, I started training for an Ironman 70.3 event

I had never done anything like this before in my life… and I knew it was going to be f-ing hard.

I’m 6’3” and weighed 235lbs… I looked more like a linebacker than a skinny triathlete.

An Ironman 70.3 (aka: Half Ironman) consists of a 1900m swim, 90km bike ride and 21km run.

This is how I broke down my goals:

    1. Good: I wanted to finish the race – I didn’t care if that meant crawling across the finish line.
    2. Better: I wanted to get under 6 hours 30 minutes – that meant my swimming & running improved.
    3. Best: I wanted to beat 6 hours – a good time even for athletes half my age.

After 2 months of intense training with some buddies, we were hit with tough news. The outbreak of COVID-19 meant our Ironman event was cancelled.

We had every excuse to quit training.

100% free pass. 

There was no event and no-one would have called us a failure if we threw in the towel.

But we didn’t.

Down to just 5 friends, we decided we were going to finish our Ironman challenge… even if we had to make our own event.

And that’s exactly what we did. 

This video is the story of why I refuse to give up even when it’s ok to.

I never want to be someone that says: “It’s too hard, quitting is more convenient”.

If I let convenience and a fear of failure guide my choices in life, there is no chance in hell I’d be where I am today. 

Everything that I’m proud of was difficult to achieve. But I did it anyway.

You just have to keep working.

Keep pushing.

Keep fighting.

And if this micro-doc struck a chord with you, I would love to hear from you in the comments.

  • Andrés Max Peña

    Super inspiring, love it.

  • Zain

    Wow! Awesome work Dan!

  • Zain

    Awesome work Dan!

  • Mark D. Bullard

    Awesome. Thanks for sharing. Everyone is boasting about what cool new thing they’ve done during Covid. Mine: starting a company. 🙂 Only, so far, nowhere near the finish line…

    Thanks for the inspiration man!

  • Pat Crosscombe

    Your micro-doc definitely strikes home with me. Doing hard things is just darn hard. Your Ironman story is great. I’ve never done a triathlon, but the experience you describe I could feel. I ran my first marathon with only a buddy to get me to the last 5 km. I couldn’t attend the race that we had trained for as I was graduating – a degree that I almost gave up on when I “failed” it two years earlier. What was next, as you asked? I did a few more marathons and then had a go at an ultra – 50 km and 8hr mountain bike races and stage races. The first ultra event, I had to end early with about 10 km to go (but heck still a marathon) because of injury but my 2nd ultra was a success. I could barely walk by the end, but got to the finish line.

    Never give up!

    Heading off to Thailand as a CUSO volunteeer (similar to the US Peace Corps) was my first hard thing. Learning a new language and culture, working with local farmers, and figuring out how to manage during a military coup and curfew tested my ability to face hard things. But I did and ended up staying for an extra 2 years.

    Never give up! Starting my business is not the hardest thing I’ve ever done but it certainly ranks up there. Doing hard things – no matter what they are – prepare us to do more hard things.

    Never give up!

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