“Fear is made up in our own minds. Ultimately, we have the choice to let go of the fear or hold onto it.” In the days prior to the Ironman competition, I had to keep reminding myself that fear is a story that one tells themselves, it's not real, it’s imaginary, something we manufacture in our heads that prevents us from reaching our true potential.
I decided to view this challenge as a celebration of my amazing journey, just like the one I started the day I first stepped on the Biggest Loser scale.
I’d overcome adversity before, so I knew I could program myself for success in other areas, as well. Each success builds your confidence and prepares you for life’s next challenge. For the Ironman, I used the same motivational tools that I did while I was on the Biggest Loser – I made posters, reminders on my cell phone, a bracelet, and post-it notes. ”In order to achieve any goal, you must believe in yourself.” I also used the power of visualization, envisioning Mike Reilly (the voice of the Ironman) saying “Tara Costa, YOU, are an Ironman!”
The morning of the race, my emotions were high but I knew ultimately, I was in control. Very few times in life do you get the opportunity to do something this extreme for the first time. Today was my day. The only thing that I could do was “Be Tara.” This was my motto for my first Ironman. I wanted to enjoy every second of it. I kept reminding myself how lucky I was to be at the Ironman World Championship in Kona, Hawaii! When I was swimming and went into transition after the bike, I did a little dance and yelled to all the volunteers “today is the day I am becoming an Ironman.” I could not stop smiling the entire race. I actually gave myself a headache & cheek-ache from smiling so much.
One of the best parts of the experience was when I turned onto Ali’i drive and saw the finish line this was the moment that I had been training for. There are no words to express the sense of accomplishment and just how proud I was of myself - I finally had the faith in myself to go out there and obtain my wildest of dreams! I am an IRONMAN!
This is now my lifestyle – to challenge myself, to try new things, to give others a sense of hope, to smile in the face of adversity. I have the courage and faith in myself now, which undoubtedly is the greatest feeling in the world. I believe that all of us can accomplish any goal that we set forth with the right attitude and determination. I hope that people will witness my journey and finally have a little faith within themselves.
What are your goals? I did it- now it’s your turn.
Swim – 2.4 Miles: 1:23:49
Bike – 112 Miles: 6:50:41
Run – 26.2 Miles: 5:13:05
11/1/2011 at 1:30 PM