James didn’t grow up an endurance athlete. In fact, he could barely finish his first 5k at the age of 28. But that failure fueled a competitive spirit, and a desire to achieve something his current body told him was impossible.
“I was determined to NOT let my failure define me.” Years of focused training shaped James to become an elite short-distance triathlete. Along the way, he learned to push past his mental limits and find his true physical boundaries.
In 2010, James set out on a journey to find those physical limitations. He set his first World Record by completing 22 70.3 Ironman races in just 30 weeks, exceeding the previous record of 20.
“There was a fire inside, and I had to let it burn.” But James did not find his limit – he could reach higher. In 2012 he set his second world record by completing 30 full-distance triathlons in less than 52 weeks, across 11 countries, crushing the previous world record of 22. It was then James realized his limitations weren’t physical, they were mental.
“I knew I could do more, reach higher.” Determined, James set out to find his mental limit and test his focus, determination, and will power, James set out to complete something everyone told him was impossible. Two and half years of strictly regimented training prepared James to attempt this feat. But physical preparation was not enough to carry him through. On July 25, 2015, James overcame all odds and defied all doubts by completing 50 full distance triathlons, in 50 states, in 50 consecutive days (50.50.50). Completing what is now considered the greatest feat of human endurance.
Every one of us has experienced a time in life when we reach our limit; physically, mentially, emotionally, spiritually. But each of us CAN achieve more, reach higher, raise the bar and silence the doubters. James story of reaching new limits is one every company, school, organization and individual can relate to. He is an ordinary guy, whose extraordinary personal story will make you laugh, cry, reflect, and leave you inspired to reach higher.
When James Lawrence (aka the Iron Cowboy) announced his plan to complete 50 Ironmans in 50 consecutive days in all 50 states, the only person who believed that he could pull it off was James himself (and his wife, Sunny). An Ironman consists of a 2.4-mile swim, a 112-mile bike ride, and a 26.2-mile run. In Lawrence’s case, he would have to complete those distances and then make it to the next state in time to do it all over again the next day. Even Lawrence’s coach didn’t think he could do it; he penciled in another event the day Lawrence was supposed to complete the challenge. But with the support of Sunny and their five children in tow, and with grassroots support conjured always at the last minute via Facebook, Lawrence accomplished exactly what he set out to do. Iron Cowboy is the story of Lawrence’s herculean 50-day journey and all the wonderful, miserable, and life-threatening events that happened along the way, as well as a glance at his life leading up to the mission, and winning two prior world records.
Key take-ways from Redefine Impossible:
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