Give it Up!

Thank you for visiting my blog “Life and Random Thinking” today.

Today is my 7th post in my Toastmasters challenge to do 8 posts in a month. Thanks for hanging in there and supporting my writing and especially the encouraging comments and suggestions.

Sincerely – David

A great finale to “almost” end our summer season in Penticton is the IRONMAN

In 1983, the first North American IRONMAN was born in Penticton, and that race changed the IRONMAN triathlon community forever. 

Penticton is known as one of the world’s premier triathlon host communities, a bucket list destination for IRONMAN athletes all over the world.

The 2,000 triathletes registered for this year’s race have been training and competing for this day all year or for much longer.

IRONMAN Penticton will lead athletes along a 3.8 km swim, a 180 km bike ride and a 42 km run, through Penticton and surrounding areas. 

I was up at 5:30 this morning to ride my bike down to Okanagan lake to watch the beginning of the day long event.

It was chilly this morning so had to add a windbreaker and I wished for heated gloves as my hands were freezing. Under these conditions the athletes stripped down, put on wet suits (for extra floatation mainly) and waded into the lake. In waves they headed out on the 3.8 swim and while standing in line with the wind coming down the lake from the north I wonder what they were thinking?

For some, like the oldest registered athlete 79-year-old Dick Ensselen, (Dick has competed in every edition of IRONMAN Canada except the first year the event was held in 1983) he was probably relaxed and feeling peaceful.

Others who have travelled here from all over the globe, probably not so much. Definitely excitement, and nervous about the strain they were about to physically endure by the end of the event.

That pain will dissolve into huge smiles, their aching sweaty body nearly forgotten with the relief and joy as they finally cross the finish line.

Most or many will sign up tomorrow on the first possible day to register so they can do it again next year as the race fills up – and they will cheerfully pay the full race registration fee for next year, over $2000.00.

They know a lot can happen before then but they are focused on planning to try and making sure they have that opportunity!


Not an Ironman or Woman? Me neither but I suspect you would have an answer for me if I said –

What would you do if you knew you would not fail?”

I have done 10 kilometre races and never knew I would be able to when I started running.

I trained with a buddy for a year and half and finally could swim over a kilometre at a go and when I started I never knew I could.

Neither of those things can I do right now but I am glad I said “Yes” and did train and do those things in my life.


(internet download)

Penticton has two lakes – one at each end. Invariably every year the age group that is the first in the lakes, and last in the lakes are the youngsters.

They don’t analyze it:

+ how cold it will feel?,

+ will there a shock to the system?

They just enthusiastically jump in and have fun, and enjoy.

Photo by Brett Jordan on

As a adult who knows better but still holds himself back – I say “Give it Up!” Don’t over think it!

The Ironman athletes have trained but some of them will fail today, but will try again I think because it’s an amazing event to be part of and because of what they experience from trying.

The possibility of failure is not an obstacle to enjoying the attempt! They don’t over think it, they gave that up!

Some athletes will have flat tires and others will have cramps, chills and you name it – but tomorrow they will gather with their fellow athletes and family wearing their medals and their shirts (maybe limping) and will do so with endless smiles on their faces, until their face muscles ache.

In the years ahead, they will always, always be proud that they tried, struggled and competed – regardless of where their standings are with the other athletes.


Photo by Josh Willink on

I know, It’s a terrible comparison after talking about Ironman but it’s an applicable example regardless.

I remember being told what a terrible dancer I am and so I have always hesitated about dancing at events. I felt too self conscious, and so denied myself and my wife from the fun of dancing and singing together at events.

My wife must see how bad I dance but she laughs and smiles so I laugh and smile also when I do concede to dance. Unquestionably I have a fun time despite my apprehension and end up wishing I danced earlier.

Big plus – The music is loud enough that no one can hear me singing except me so no harm and no foul! LOL

Life has enough regrets. Give up the thinking that holds you back from what makes you happy.

Don’t hold yourself back, do what brings you joy – travel, singing in the car, challenging yourself to run, swim, unicycle, tai chi, learn a language. Avoid regrets.

Take courses like Toastmasters (or at least be a guest once to see what it’s about) but it all depends on your own goals! Link to Toastmasters.

Give Up the “adult” analysis and be instead like a child and DIVE IN focusing on the fun of doing!

What would you do if you knew you could not fail? ” – Don’t let the possibility of failure prevent you from having a full life, one without regrets. As you get older, you will realize that even if you had failed, you would have been happy you tried.

Link to the full quote here

– who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement,

and who at the worst, if he fails, at least he fails while daring greatly,

so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who

neither know victory nor defeat.”

– Theodore Roosevelt – It’s Not the Critic Who Counts”

It really doesn’t matter if you fail.

Try to do it, even if you can fail, because you will thank yourself, and if you fail along the way, at least you tried and that’s better than never trying at all! ♥ David

About dfolstad58

I live in the South Okanagan. BC. I enjoy reading, exercise, toastmasters. spending time with my son, my daughter, & her husband , and my patient wife. I try to respond personally to every comment on my blog, and in this way I hope to get to know my readers a little bit and and am able to thank readers for their encouragement on what they liked and suggestions on what they would like to see me try in order to improve.
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16 Responses to Give it Up!

  1. Jane Fritz says:

    Great post, David! Great event. Great message!!


  2. Another great post David!!
    I love all the messages here, of going for it and giving it a try, of enjoying life and perseverance, among others. Thank you for the reminder to live without fear!
    One post to go!!


    • dfolstad58 says:

      Thank you so much for your kind words. I wonder if you yet have had an opportunity to be a guest locally at a Toastmasters? Blessings – I have a big news soon, in less than 24 hours! – David


  3. lghiggins says:

    The only way to fail at something is to never try. Thanks for the great history of Ironman. I can’t imagine doing that and have no desire, but I admire the crazies who do. In motorcycling the challenge is the Ironbutt competition. I prefer to make my own challenges and compete with myself. (And I can not in my wildest dreams imagine spending $2000.00 for the privilege of Ironman!)


    • dfolstad58 says:

      The fee seems high but taken into account with the travel, training, hotel, diet – it isn’t at all. These are committed people – you might think they need to be committed. Some are couples which is better because the training can leave the spouse left alone at home thousands and thousands of hours; widowed as it were. Some the bikes are $10K – it’s really kind of mind boggling. Some athletes arrive a month or more in advance to train on the course and they do in hordes !

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Lynn says:

    Love the messaging here David! Life is so full of possibility, we only need to take the chance to try!


  5. About six or seven years ago, my husband and I went to Penticton specifically to see the Ironman event. It was fabulous. I was so impressed to see people heading toward that finish line, barely able to run, and when it was almost dark. They looked spent but determined. It was one of the most inspiring sports events I’ve ever seen.


    • dfolstad58 says:

      That’s the magic Debra. When it’s 11 pm and the athlete is still trying after being on the go, giving it all since probably 5:30 a.m. The volunteers and fans are still there, ringing cowbells and encouraging the stragglers. That spirit is what makes the event amazing, not the amazing athletes who can do it all in 10 hours. It’s the amazing heart of the person who says I am willing to let reality defeat me but I will stubbornly give every bit I can. ♥

      Liked by 1 person

  6. An Audience of One says:

    What great respect I have for all of the competitors! Just amazing!

    As to Toastmasters, I’m not typically a quitter, but I regret to say it’s one thing I never completed. I was doing a fair share of speaking already, and had too many irons in the fire, so something had to give. But… the lessons I took from TM were so good. As a side note, in my first informal speech, I talked about the idea of “Bloom Where You’re Planted,” because of moving around the country, and then to Canada. 😊 That saying is still on my computer at work as a reminder. 😃


    • dfolstad58 says:

      Bloom where you are planted. I like it. I think many people think the grass is greener on the other side of the fence so to speak. Others have nicer homes, nicer cities. I have always tried to have the mindset that where I am is the best place. Gratitude first.

      Liked by 1 person

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