Tag Archives: Ironman
My husband completed his first Ironman in Panama City, Florida. Something remarkable happened during the race and it makes me ponder similar implications in the work place. My husband’s watch broke. Actually, his second watch broke. The first one was kicked off and now sits on the ocean floor of the Gulf of Mexico. The second watch went black 90 minutes into the bike ride. So here he is, doing his first Ironman and he has virtually no ability to pace himself. The only way that he can ‘tell time’ is to watch the path of the sun and the only way he knows his relative position is to pass a mile marker, gauge his approximate speed and use that information to make decisions about nutrition and his pace.
As I am sure you can imagine, Ironman races are incredibly difficult. It is a 2.4 mile swim followed by a 112 mile bike following by a 26.2 mile run (a full marathon). Many well-experienced athletes have made the mistake of going too hard in the swim or the bike, only to find that their body doesn’t have enough energy left to finish the run. This is a very real risk and one that should not be taken lightly. So how do you, as a first time Ironman, pace yourself on the bike when you have no timepiece? Well, you do your best. And you listen to your body. And guess. And maybe pray a bit.
We have some friends who are contemplating the husband/father quitting work to be a stay-at-home dad and care for the kids. My husband and I have had this arrangement since 2008 and it has been wonderful for our family. Our children are happier, our marriage is stronger and we enjoy each other much more than we could when we were a two income family with loads of stress and no free time.
But this arrangement isn’t for everyone and if the benefits don’t outweigh the costs (loss of a second income is a big deal!) then it can cause far greater problems. Why does our situation work so well for us? We think it boils down to four key points.
1. His job is to support me – those are his words, not mine. If that means cancelling a poker game because I have to go out of town – no problem. If I have to miss family dinner because an out of town exec wants an evening meeting – no problem. If he has two sick, grumpy kids crying for their mom, he handles it. The complete ownership on his part creates a guilt-free environment for me so I can focus on maximizing my opportunities and, hopefully, our income.