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6 ways to tackle your dreams


Swim 2.4 miles, bike 112 miles, and run 26.2 miles. That’s an Ironman. It’s incredible. It’s the world’s most challenging race and I’ve done it three times.

One of my favorite parts about being a writer for the UPMC MyHealth Matters Blog is that not only do I have the opportunity to share tips, tricks, and valuable information about healthy living, but I am also able to share my own personal experiences. Last year you joined me as I trained and completed Ironman Louisville. This year I exceeded even my wildest dreams — I completed two Ironman distance events.

In August I tackled the Ironman North American Championships in Mont-Tremblant. In September I raced in Ironman Maryland. Those two races, just five weeks apart, were absolutely amazing for me. With that being said, I want to share a little bit about how all of you can chase your dreams too.

Dare to dream BIG.

Seriously — as big as you can! A few years ago I never would have thought that I would have three Ironman distance events under my belt and a fourth planned for next year. I focused on my dream and I never took my eyes off it. I did everything I could to get there and finish; you can too! Be BOLD!

Transform your life with positive thinking.

That seems like a no-brainer but it’s hard to do. A positive person anticipates happiness, health, and success. Positive people believe they can overcome any obstacle and difficulty. There was a time in my life where I had to work on this really hard, and I am glad I did.

Find your passion and make it your purpose.

You can’t chase someone else’s goals and dream; trust me, I’ve tried. Take whatever you are passionate about and run with it. The intense happiness that “passion” brings you will fuel a fire within that no one can burn out. When I am on my bike or running, it never feels like a chore. I enjoy every second if it. If you don’t enjoy what you are doing, get out NOW!

Set the bar high.

Hold yourself to a standard of excellence and refuse to compromise. This doesn’t mean that you always have to win or that you have to be the best. It means that each and every day you are the best version of yourself and no one else.

Stay humble.

Have you ever heard this saying: never let success get to your head or failure to your heart? It’s true. The path to excellence is filled with trials and tribulations. Welcome them. Each and every one — but always stay true to who you are and remember where you started.

Be a mentor.

I would not be where I am today if it wasn’t for people who took me under their wing, not only for an Ironman but in all areas of life. Give back by helping someone else in any way you can. It will not only make you feel good, it will help someone grow and develop. Helping someone is a very rewarding experience.

Do you have a personal vision to help you reach your goals? Who else is included? Share in the comments below!