How to Achieve Your Goals: Tips from an Ironman

Recently one of my good friends, Mattea Grumke, completed an amazing feat: finishing an Ironman Triathlon. That’s swimming 2.4 miles, biking 112 miles, and finishing it off with a full marathon run, 26.22 miles. What an incredible accomplishment for this 24 year old woman!

I am so impressed, not only with the accomplishment itself, but Mattea’s drive and discipline to reach such a goal.

As someone with my own health and fitness goals (and someone who just recently finished her first half marathon), I was interested to hear what Mattea had to offer for advice on what it takes to become an Ironman, or achieve a goal of this magnitude. While speaking to her on this topic, I noticed the first element was her attitude.

“I’m always looking for the next challenge or another goal to strive for. Graduating from college was an academic goal for me; finishing an Ironman was a physical challenge for me,” said Mattea.

When I asked her what the most difficult part of the Ironman was, her answer might surprise you.

“When I finished the race, everyone congratulated me and said ‘It must’ve been so hard.’ Everyone thinks the challenge is the race, when in reality it’s the months of training leading up to it. It’s the commitment, sticking to your goal even when it’s hard, and keeping a positive attitude throughout it all,” said Mattea. Hearing those words made me smile. The hardest part of almost any goal, fitness or otherwise, is staying consistent and persistent until the goal is reached.

Which leads us to our three tips from Mattea Grumke, Ironman:

Tip #1: “Take it one day at a time. Instead of focusing on the goal as a whole, just focus on getting through what you want to accomplish for that day.”

Training for the Ironman

Tip #2: “Keep a positive attitude. You can have bad days, just remember why you’re doing it.”

Ironman Wisconsin, Crossing the finish line

Tip #3: “Surround yourself with people that support you and want to see you succeed. Whether that be the people you train with, your friends, your family, make sure you are surrounded by people who support your goals.”

Surround yourself with an amazing support system

At the end of our conversation, Mattea left me with a quote that has been her mantra through all her hard work:

“If you have the ability to imagine it, you have the ability to manifest it fully.” 

Way to go, Mattea! You are truly an inspiration!

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