I've arrived in beautiful Calella and it's fair to say the place hasn't changed much in the last 24 months since my last trip. Positioned 45 minutes drive to the north of Barcelona, this weekend the City hosts the annual Ironman 70.3 race which will see over 2500 athletes take part in what is sure to be another incredible experience for me.  This will be my second time taking part as 2 years ago I also was fortunate enough to be here competing.  If the experience this year matches that, then I'm in for another fantastic few days.

I decided at Christmas time that I was going to train for another full Ironman distance triathlon in 2018, and as part of this plan, I thought it important that I get a half distance in, as it would work well with my training program.  As I decided to do Ironman UK in July this year, the Barcelona race fell at the right time for me, so thankfully i've arrived here in one piece and I'm now excited about the race.

Over the last few months I've started to reach out to people again and share with them what I've been up to of late regarding my food and exercise program and my ongoing recovery from MS. I enjoy doing this as I'm very aware of the impact my story can have on people, especially those who have lost all hope in life.

This week a young guy who was recently diagnosed with MS, contacted me, as he was finding life particularly difficult and struggling to deal with all aspects of his recent diagnosis.   When I read his email to me on Monday night, it was like something I would have written myself over 10 years ago.  How he was feeling, his concerns and axienties, his lack of hope, are all symptoms and feelings associated not just with an MS diagnosis, but with any kind of illness.  As I have been through all of this ten times over, I was in a position to offer some advice and share some information and knowledge that I was sure would help this particular person on his own immediate journey of recovery.  Within 24 hours the guy had responded to thank me for giving him some hope back in his life and that he was going to double down his efforts, become a student of the condition and take the appropriate action that will give him a better chance of a having a positive outcome with regards to living with MS.  All very powerful stuff, and for me, fantastic feedback on something which took me a few minutes to respond to.  

To be in a position to change or impact anyone's life in any kind of positive way is extremely rewarding. It's something I don't take for granted now and to be honest is a major reason why I continue to do what I do.  All it can take sometimes is one post on line, one piece of encouragement, one quote, reading one book, or one piece of action to change someone's life for the better.  Its incredibly powerful and all I keep saying to people is to always keep an open mind on life, and more so, be open to believing that things in all aspects of your life actually can improve.  I think that is a very positive way to lead your life every day.

Tomorrow I will be down on the beach registering for Sundays race, with all of the other athletes. Over the last few months I've worked hard on myself, my fitness and my mind.  I've found great peace in the lifestyle i'm living right now, always trying to improve, get stronger and stay on top of my illness, as quite frankly it's not much fun being sick - trust me.  Then tomorrow night its an early one for me as 5am will come soon enough on Sunday morning for breakfast with the race starting at 7am sharp.  All being well, I hope to get through the race unscathed, and travel back home on Monday with another medal to add to my young sons collection (which is now quite impressive).

I will sign off from sunny Spain with this thought.  There’s a famous quote paraphrasing Aristotle that says:

            “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence is not an act, but a habit.”  

#I R O N M I N D 



Deep in thought, Calella, Spain May 2018

Deep in thought, Calella, Spain May 2018



Conor DevineComment