Commitment is Key

Commitment is Key

| Tina Bakehouse

My friend Mark Phillips just finished his second half IRONMAN, which requires athletes to swim 1.2 miles in a lake, bike 56 miles, and run a half marathon.


This race requires hard work, training, and commitment


Time commitment.

Physical commitment.

Mental commitment.




Prior to his desire to complete one, Mark couldn’t swim.

He didn’t have a real bike.

He couldn’t run.


Months prior, he pledged to a minimum of two workouts a day five days a week, a regimen that takes a toll on his schedule and body.


The physical preparation is only a part of it


Once the participant joins the race, they endure all types of weather. Run or shine, hot or cold, they swim, bike, and run.  NO MATTER WHAT.


The hardest part is the mental commitment and effort. Typically, mid-way through, athletes can give up, for they are physically tired, mentally drained, and just over it. What helps is training the brain to push through when the going gets tough. 


Strategy consultant Stephen Duneier emphasized in his TEDx talk, it’s important to engage in deliberate practice, focusing on the process and listening to a positive mindset. 


When training and competing, Phillips said, “I focus on family, being a good example, doing math problems in my head, thanking volunteers. I create a mental pain cave and audibly put things that are hard there. If it’s hot, I say it, recognize it, and move on.”


While focusing on the “I can” mentality, IRONMAN athletes push through the state of discomfort to have a growth mindset and achieve their goal.


Competing and completing an IRONMAN is like public speaking.


Improving your speaking skills takes time. It requires dedication to create the idea, compose your speech, and practice.


It takes physical and mental commitment. Your body matches your mind. By putting your body into the space and listening to your mental guidance system, your ability to present thoughtful and clear content improves.


And it takes effort.  You must practice


The more you present, the better you get. The better you get, the more you enjoy it, and the more you enjoy it, the greater the impact you’ll make.


You can go as far as you want to go, as far as your mind wants you to go, for you believe to achieve.


Like my friend who made the conscious decision to train and complete an IRONMAN, you too can make the decision to speak up and improve your communication skills and have fun along the way.