Are you Tough Enough?

An Inspiring Story by a Mom, Working Professional and Friend

"I Actually Did It!"
4 mile Run - 56 mile Bike - 13.1 mile Run ...a word from the Woman who did it!

By Amy Frizzell
Many ask why someone like myself may go all in and sign up for the Toughman Half Duathlon? To me, the answer was simple: INSANITY

To those who don't know me,  I am a wife to an awesome husband who is a crazy exceptional athlete, mom of two wonderful kids, and a busy professional who spends 50% of my time traveling for my career. As great as that seems, last fall I felt myself slowly slipping towards insanity and needed to prove to myself I could be successful at something outside of my career. With that,  I signed up for the Toughman Half Duathlon having never done anything on that scale (nor did I consistently exercise). I was a novice at best. For me, my training was scheduled around my travel plans utilizing hotel treadmills and committed myself to early mornings at the Cycle Studio when I was in town. Never did I expect the outcome I experienced. Leading up to race day my daughter would encourage me, telling me how proud she was and she had noticed how hard I had worked, she was sure I would do great. She even made a poster to cheer me on. Last Saturday was the best day with my family by my side the whole time, no complaining or whining, just there to support and cheer me on. I didn't have a panic attack on the bike as I had the prior week, I definitely wasn't the fastest, and at times things were not that pretty, but I wasn't last and more importantly I finished. When I crossed the line I couldn’t help but say,  "I actually did it". What a great lesson to myself and my kiddos."

Support. Accountability. Positive Peer Pressure.

A Husbands Perspective
By Jeff Frizzell

Several months ago Amy asked me to help her with finding a fitness goal.  She wanted to be athletic again and prove something to herself.  I frustrated her at first by suggesting goals much smaller than a half Ironman distance event.  Not that I didn’t believe in her ability or her determination.  I did however have a pretty good understanding of her then current fitness, functionality, work schedule, frankly exercise track record, and all around crazy life.  So when she challenged me with, “don’t you think I can do a half Ironman?”, I gulped hard and said…..

Let’s just say there was a lot of passionate conversation for a while.  I challenged her.  She pushed back.  We agreed on the Toughman Half Duathlon.  I say “we” because, for the journey to be most successful, she needed me to be all in for her.  We chose the duathlon because we agreed she simply did not have the time to learn and train for a third discipline.  It really boiled down to setting a big and scary yet achievable goal that fit best with the life and work schedule.

Once Amy has a goal set, she tenaciously tears after it.  That’s what makes her so successful at work.  She needed gradual build though and a lot of mentorship in this case.  She was an excellent study!  She surrounded herself with great people every chance she had and fed off their advice and energy.  Amy also spent a lot of lonely early mornings digging deep and faithfully putting one foot in front of the other.  Many times she doubted the plan or her ability, but she stayed consistent and did the work.  In the end, she rocked the Toughman.  Better yet, and what makes Amy’s journey most successful, is that she did not reach a destination but rather a new beginning.

From the family perspective, our job was to continually make her goal a priority.  We all had to be all in.  Even when she did not feel like doing the work, the kids and I would encourage her and make time for her to train.  Amy missed some things but not all things and she was always there for the important things.  We would sit down each Sunday and make a plan that accommodated for the training, kid’s activities, family time, chores, etc…  Honestly that was more my job.  I tried to make it simple for Amy and kept her on a “need to know basis”.  Amy knew her work and training schedules, what kid’s activities she needed to be at, and when she would get to just be home and relax.  With her burning both ends of the wick like she did for the few months of training that was about all she needed.  It worked out successfully.  Everything important got done around the house.  The kids were perfectly happy and ended up with a new admiration for their mother.  But to see the joy in my wife’s eyes and hear her say “I did it!” at the finish line!  That just made it all so worth it.