Monday, February 05, 2007

One for the Corps

In the Stanley Kubrick film "Full Metal Jacket," former Marine R. Lee Ermey plays the hardcore drill instructor Gunnery Sergeant Hartman. His portrayal of a tough Marine molding young men into "killing machines" earned him a Golden Globe nomination.

In one scene, Hartman is attempting to "motivate" one of his privates to complete pullups. He asks for one for the Commandant, and then one for the Corps (his "beloved Marine Corps"). When the private is unable to complete the last pullup, Hartman barks, "Well, I guess the Corps doesn't get their's." As I came to the end of my long swim, this weekend, that is what was running through my head. After completing what I believed was 4500 yards, I dug deep to do an extra 100 yards, just in case I had messed up somewhere along the line.

I had gotten everything correctly. For that swim, the Corps got their's. 4600 yards completed in 1:46 and change. As I climbed out of the pool, I felt like I had just spent an hour getting cycled by Senior DI Hartman. Few events in Navy bootcamp pushed my limits as this swim did.

There is a lot to be learned from pushing ourselves, and testing our limits. We grow the most when we are at the bounds of our abilities. I can learn about myself from a 500 yard swim. I learn more when another zero is added. The same can be said for the bike and the run. We improve ourselves in our routine, daily training. We learn about ourselves when we go outside the bounds we thing limit us.

And just like in boot camp, we have to leave a bit of ourselves behind. That part that says "I can't do this" or "This is too hard." If we those gremlins with us, they'll bite us in the butt come race day.

9 comments:

Iron Pol said...

Hey look, Blogger seems to be sucking donkey balls and won't allow me to delete SPAM posts unless I switch over to the beta version. How brilliant. Still bugs in the system, and we're going to force change, anyway.

The mark of true genius.

Wendy said...

Great job in the pool Pol!!!!

Bigun said...

awesome swim - you'll need all new clothes once that fin stops growing out of your back.

Robyn & Rachel said...

Hello from a long-time listener / first-time caller! As a newbie swimmer training for her first olympic tri reading about your journey is inspiring! Thanks for the post.

TriBoomer said...

Dang good swim, IP. Keep working at that distance for endurance and speed and you'll kick butt in Louisville.

BTW, I just tagged you on my blog.

Cheers!

Stay tuned...

Iron Pol said...

R&R (which holds a lot of meaning for us ex-military types) - Thanks for the comment. Trust me, I was right there where you are only 12 months back. When I took the challenge to try my first triathlon, I could barely swim 200 yards. That was February. In August, I completed an Olympic distance race. Trust yourself, and you can succeed.

Boomer - I'm fairly certain I've already been it in this game, but will check exactly which game of tag you're attempting to make me "it."

TriBoomer said...

Arrggh... you're right. You've been tagged and answered. Sorry for the misfire. I'll adjust my guns.

Stay tuned...

LP said...

Iron Pol,
I was just thinking the same thing this weekend. Sunday my schedule had me running for an 1:10 and then ride for 40 minutes. I just got my road bike set up for Triathlon this past Wednesday. In the process I got a new bike saddle. Needless to say -- I am still breaking my "body" in to the seat. I rode for 2 hours on Saturday, so riding was not something I was looking forward to doing -- but I did it and you know it was because I wanted to put one more ride in the bank for Louisville. The mental piece of the puzzle is probably harder then the physical and the nutritional.

Keep at it! I can't wait to see how awesome you do in August!

Comm's said...

I like to do "One for the Rangers in the sky" and then "One for the Man upstairs"