What Ironman Failure Taught Me

What Ironman Failure Taught Me About Life and Racing

Well, I’ve always said this life I’m living (to give back with my feet) is a journey. And it definitely has had it’s ups and downs. In 2012 during my first 1/2 Ironman distance race I was struck by an SUV three miles from the bike finish. Then while training for my first full Ironman I lost almost two months of training due to two bulging discs in C4&5 and L4&5. I could hardly move and couldn’t even swim, at times the pain was unbearable. When I healed up and showed up  for Ironman Arizona I was as ready as my body and mind would allow.

What my Ironman DNF taught me 


  1. You can train your body and your brain, but that doesn’t guarantee that everything will go the way you planned.
  2. Our story isn’t always rooted in a strong finish — but rather in the process of DARING to dream the dream in the first place and to go places that we once thought of as impossible.
  3. Swimming 2.4 miles in open water is a FAR cry from doing it in the pool!
  4. I learned when push comes to shove I can get into a breathing rhythm and swim comfortably like when in the pool. Although this day I learned it a little too late.
  5. There is beauty in giving something everything you’ve got and never giving up.
  6. Although devastated at first…. I quickly realized that maybe I wasn’t meant to finish the swim. God has a  bigger plan for my life. With my DNF I met some life changing people whom I wouldn’t have had the opportunity to meet otherwise.
  7. Faith & fear can NOT exist at the same time.
  8. I learned to completely, faithfully, and cheerfully turn my journey over to God. I also learned what a freeing experience that is….
  9. I got to experience first hand how much my journey has hand an affect on others. I had NO idea how much my journey touches others.
  10. Not finishing a thing ins’t final or fatal. It also doesn’t mean that your efforts are futile. Even though I wanted to get my fallen military angels across that finishing line — that doesn’t mean I failed them. I DARED to dream. I DARED to believe. I DARED to train. And I DARED to try.
  11. At the end of the day I hit my fundraising goal for The Boot Campaign and for that I will be forever grateful to everyone who supported me with their friendship, their prayers and their contributions.
  12. I will be back in 2014 to finish what I started with a new desire to concur the open water swim and to wrap myself fully in the faith that what God planted in my heart he will also equip me with the means to accomplish. 
  13. No test; no testimony… God uses all things for His good and His will.
  14. There is no such thing as failure.

I would like to personally thank all of the sponsors, people, and organizations that made my journey to Ironman possible:

Click here to read more about my race and to watch the video of my journey to Ironman in combat boots.

Do you have a DNF (did not finish) story or an event that changed your perspective? I would love to hear from you. Please leave a comment below in the Facebook comment section.

I DARE you to Get Uncomfortable for a cause that’s dear to your heart. Read the Manifesto and take the Get Uncomfortable Dare.


Posted on December 8, 2013 in About Amy, Motivation, Race/Event Review

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