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Longest race of my life: two days to Ironman; more than a race

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Airman 1st Class Clayton Wear is well prepared for his race September 20, 2017, Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif. Wear has trained 20 weeks to compete in his first half-Ironman; the Ironman Superfrog 70.3 on September 24th, 2017, Coronado Beach, Calif. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Ian Dudley/Released)

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. --

If you have been following this series, then you would know that in two days I will be competing in the Ironman 70.3 Superfrog. I have written about why I signed up, many aspects of training, and my diet.

For the final article before the race I want to post about the real reason I undertook this race, but after writing a seven page article about my past, I feel a 400 word article will suffice.

Stringing together my thoughts, pain, and emotions in the longer version of this article was incredibly therapeutic. Through my formative years I learned many lessons from swimming, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, and mixed martial arts in response to the punches life threw at me.

Swimming helped me through my Dads death, BJJ helped me find acceptance in my new high school, and MMA helped me through the death of my best friend.

This year has brought its challenges as well. Training for this triathlon has given me space to process the close call my family had with my stepdads Stage IV cancer, and the death of my step brother.

I have used athletics to decompress my emotions in the past, and the training for this triathlon has served the same purpose. Even though this chapter of my life is coming to an end; the lessons I have learned will follow me into my other goals.

I can’t thank you all enough for the emails, encouragement, and kind words. This series has challenged my creativity each week, and has helped me grow as a writer in my job as well as in college.

I’ll be taking leave after the race, so, I’ll post an article about how I did on October 13th. See you all in a few weeks!

 

 

Editor’s note: This is an on-going 10 week series. You can visit www.vandenberg.af.mil and the 30th Space Wing Facebook page every Friday for a new feature.