What I learned from Ironman Champion Craig Alexander
If you live in The Woodlands or Montgomery County, you may not follow sports extensively, but you have heard of the Ironman. This sporting event draws athletes from many countries and skill levels to swim 2.4-miles, bike 112-miles, and complete an entire 26.2-mile marathon. You would have to be crazy to do this, right? 2,437 people were fearless enough to compete in the Texas Ironman in May. What an accomplishment and testament to this area’s commitment to getting off the couch!
Ironman in Magnolia
A three-time Kona Ironman World Champion (the Super Bowl of Ironman events) came to The Woodlands to speak at Memorial Hermann on July 11th, 2014. I knew this was something I would be interested in, even if I had never competed in the race. A champion of that level has endured and persevered through much, so I knew I would learn from him. Here were my notable quotes and takeaways from the time we got to spend with Mr. Craig Alexander:
- “As I get older, I focus on taking care of my body with massage and chiro(practic).” –CA. Craig trained in university to be a physical therapist, so he has a healthy knowledge base of anatomy and physiology. In addition to knowing how much energy he is expending throughout his races, he also recognizes the long-term challenges that such intense physical exercise can take on the body. Utilizing proactive rather than reactive care such as chiropractic and massage therapy, Craig is able to keep himself on the podium even into his 40s. Great job! For more on the proactive approach to health, don’t forget to check out our past blog, “Borrowing From the Future” by Dr. Evan Pulver.
- “The greatest athletes in the world are those that are the most consistent.” –CA. This was a message that probably most of us had heard, most of us had given as advice to others, and most of us had set aside at one point. When it comes down to any noble cause- competitive sports, raising kids, getting a better job/position, getting a date even- consistency and focused training will always beat out luck and natural ability. What do you want to be the greatest at? What new level of health or success do you want to reach? Are you willing to put forth the effort and discipline to be consistent to reach that level?
- “The body has the ability to adapt. It’s just in the training.” –CA. When I heard Craig say this, I thought that maybe he had seen my shirt and knew I was a doctor of chiropractic. This was golden! I recognized that while he was talking about the physical training for elite athletic competition, it could just as well be applied to the foundational chiropractic care we give in our office. We recognize that the body is able to overcome and adapt to different situations to get back to proper alignment and improved health. Our foundational care is the training that those with foundational shifts in their spine need in order to adapt and make positive changes to their lives.
I am thankful to the Memorial Hermann team for putting this great event together. While I try to make every experience a learning opportunity, this was easy to accomplish with a champ like Craig Alexander. Toward the end of the event, Craig gave this quote, which I will leave you with. Have a great day and live it well!
“When the gun goes off, it’s about you and your family and everyone who’s gotten you there.”
– Craig Alexander, Ironman World Champion
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