Life Lessons from an Endurance Athlete

Our very own occupational and hand therapist Sheila King shows us (once again) that age is no excuse when it comes to staying fit. For the second time since turning 50, Sheila competed in perhaps the most grueling physical challenge in sport. This time it was the Ironman Louisville on August 25th 2013.

Below Sheila shares her story and what she learned from this amazing accomplishment!



It’s an experience that takes days, weeks to settle in after you cross the finish line. The race entails a 2.4 mile swim; 112 mile bike ride; and 26.2 mile run.

The commitment begins when you sign up and training begins. Rising early morning. Getting caught in rain/thunderstorms. Fatigue. Questioning. Hungry. Thirsty. Really? Another long bike ride? Sore butt! Sore feet! No time! Sleep! Run! Bike! Swim! Repeat!

These are just a few lingering thoughts and experiences during the training.

Encouragement comes from blogs, Facebook sites, articles, friends and family! “We believe in you” shout my girls! “Mom, time to get out for a run!”

4 Lessons from the Adventure:

  1. There’s more within you than you realize.

  2. Once you set a goal, set it in motion and let it unfold—don’t put things off!

  3. Use the resources around you to the fullest to encourage, sustain and fill you until the goal is reached.

  4. Grab hold of the big and little victories and celebrations while you have health, breath and those you love right next to you.


I also felt these things during the race! Everything I needed was around me, within me and in front of me. I just had to be open, receiving and willing to be a part of the greatest race I’ve ever experienced. All the hard work was done. Now I had to just keep moving at the best possible level that I could do and finish before 12:00 midnight.

And I did…finish.