My brain is always racing a million miles an hour, all the time.

Growing up I was always nervous. Tapping my fingers, biting my nails, not able to sit still, and had a really hard time focusing on anything. My mother (being the brilliant woman that she is) got me into playing the drums.

I remember the first time I played a beat and the overwhelming sense of calmness that came over me. I still get that same goofy smile every time I think about it. 

Playing the drums was my place of Zen for almost 20 years. It was amazing and I loved it. I got to record albums, played thousands of shows, traveled the world, met so many amazing people, and learned so much about myself. No regrets. 

In my 20s, I struggled between my career goals with cooking, and my career goals with music. I put everything I had into my music. By my late 20s/early 30s, I decided to give up on the music dreams and put 100% of my energy into my career. It was an adjustment to say the least. What the fuck do I do with all of this energy?!?!

Well, I quit smoking, joined a gym, got a personal trainer, started a catering company, and signed up for my first triathlon. Back then I couldn't even do one pushup! But I was determined to succeed. 

The thought of doing that first sprint triathlon seemed absolutely impossible. It is crazy to look back on how challenging I thought this was at the time. It's amazing what the human body and spirit are capable of achieving. Since then, I have worked my way up from that first sprint distance up to full Ironman, and have done just about every distance in between. 

I didn't know it then, but it was the racing and training that was giving me the clear mind, and focus that I needed to succeed in every other aspect of my life. The time I dedicate to training is my time to focus, to do better, to learn, and to be humble.

It is my time for self-reflection, my new place of Zen. My training is where I set my goals, and remind myself that anything is possible, to push myself, and to never give up on myself and those around me. 

My story is still a work in progress. I welcome the pain and suffering that comes with training. I love to push through what I perceive as my physical limitations. I always come out better on the other side, or at least learn something along the way.

Coach nailed it when she said "Embracing physical suffering with a humble, workmanlike resolve cultivates the mental discipline to handle high levels of stressors, in the gym and outside of the gym, in real life.

Brent Schumacher