Friday 2nd November 2018 (11.47pm)
I am not a fan of tattoos and I never thought I would have one, let alone one which symbolises a 140.6 mile Ironman. I am someone who does not particularly follow trend, does not do what others do and plays it safe when it comes to everlasting decisions.
Having a tattoo seems to be the done thing after an Ironman and people who have them do it for their own personal reasons. For me, I thought to have a brand stuck to you for life was a bit odd. I mean, you wouldn’t walk around with the Starbucks or McDonald’s logo tattooed to your arm (I apologise to those who have, I am obviously out of the loop). So for me it was a no go and not something which I looked to do… until 2 weeks ago.
So why the 360 change?
I decided that I wanted something that would have meaning which could act as a reminder to what I have achieved. I don’t necessarily mean on the day itself, of course that it is important, but I wanted it to reflect what I went through in the 12 months leading up to it. I wanted something to look at as a reminder that whatever mood I am in, however low or desperate I feel, I am stronger than what I think, and if I can do an Ironman than I can get through anything.
The mental and physical challenges I faced are well documented in previous blogs so I won’t dwell on that too much.
I never know when I am going to blog, I have no plan or set days. If I have an idea or the words are there then I will, and today is one of those days. I woke up with very little motivation to hit what was on my training programme. In fact I felt a bit rubbish, work related reasons, and when this happens I get knocked back to the hole which I have worked my way out of. Suffice to say, I got my shit together and made the journey across the city to the gym. Still with very little motivation for my strength and conditioning session.
Today, I had one of those ‘you can do this’ reminders as I accidentally caught site of my wrist whilst doing a dead bug. Seeing my tattoo gave me a sharp reminder that I am stronger than I think and that I am bigger and better than the stuff going on externally which I cannot control.
When faced with adversity, pain or suffering I can look down at my wrist and appreciate that nothing can be as bad as what I went through that day. An event which battered me physically and took every bit of my mental toughness to succeed. When I look back to the months of training, I could have easily thrown in the towel (along with the wetsuit into the sea) but I didn’t, my desire to succeed over powered every negative thought in the end and won out.
So that’s why I decided to get one … to remind myself that I can do whatever I put my mind to and that I am a survivor.
My next consideration was what to have done. I wanted something small and simple and which could be hidden should I have to. I knew all I wanted was the ‘M dot’ but not sure in what way. After trawling the hundreds of Ironman tattoos on the internet I came up with the one as depicted.
From here I go on knowing that what I have been through and have achieved has defined me as a person, a better person than what I was 1 year ago. There is still some way to go, but my little reminder shows me that whatever it is I can do it.
You can to xx