Ironman & Natural Childbirth

Three years ago Mr. Right completed his first Ironman triathlon in Louisville, KY. Having never participated in an Ironman competition-it was hard for me to imagine what one would be like. (Ironman, by the way is the ultimate test of physical endurance with a 2.4 mile swim, 112 mile bike and a 26.2 marathon at the end) But as I listened to him describe the life changing experience it sounded very familiar. It sounded a lot like natural childbirth-which I have experienced, and happen to think is the most amazing physical accomplishment of the human body. I decided to list the similarities between Ironman and natural childbirth, and this is what I came up with:

  • Both events are preceded by multiple trips to the bathroom. (some are false alarms caused by nerves)
  • Initial excitement slowly fades to self-doubt and towards the end you find yourself thinking, or saying or SCREAMING, “I will NEVER do this again!”
  • They both can last for a good part of the day. (Ironmen are lucky here because they have a “cutoff” at 17 hours)
  • Both require extreme physical and mental determination to finish.
  • In both cases “transition” needs to be as short as possible.
  • It helps to have loved ones cheering you on.
  • Blood, Sweat and Tears. Enough said.
  • All pain is momentarily eclipsed by sheer ecstasy upon completion.
  • When you finish you feel invincible!
  • Shortly after the event your body starts reminding you of what you have just been through.
  • You wish everyone could experience what you just went through.
  • You can be proud FOR LIFE of the monumental achievement you’ve accomplished.
  • You walk funny for at least a week.
  • At some point you suffer from amnesia and “sign up” for the next one!

So it seems like the closest thing for a guy to experience natural childbirth is to compete in Ironman.  I guess the only person who can accurately compare the two would be a woman who has experienced both. I would LOVE to talk to that woman…who knows, maybe I’ll be able to tell you one day! While Ironman may be impressive, bringing life into the world is  impressive AND important. Cheers to the families who manage to do both well.


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