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Ironman champion interviewed

Posted by Active Toby Sep 14, 2007

Last night I attended an interview of Normann Stadler, the two-time reining Ironman world champion. The interview was organized by Competitor Magazine and the Triathlon Club of San Diego. The newly-opened Coastal Sports & Wellness Medical Center was kind enough to host the couple hundred triathletes who showed up for the Chipotle burritos and live interview with host Bob Babbitt. 

Stadler kept the audience entertained with his German accent and anecdotes of his younger days winning races in his homeland. It was amusing to learn that Stadler actually fears swimming in the ocean and trains primarily in the pool. Among recapping last year’s win in Kona, the controversy between him and Chris McCormick resurfaced once again, because we all love drama and it’s good for the sport, right?


It was interesting to learn that Germany, Stadler’s country of origin, has developed quite the following for triathlon. In fact, last year Germany broadcasted live race-day coverage from Kona, Hawaii--logging over 23-million viewers! The third weekend of October, Germany will again broadcast the Ironman world championship as the sport continues to grow in popularity. Last year, coverage aired in the US on December 9 with a similar schedule expected this year. You can always log-on to the web for live race-day coverage (check out the Ironman website for more info).


What I think worth mentioning is the fact that in most parts of the country (except, perhaps, San Diego, birthplace of triathlon), most people wouldn't recognize this international icon if they passed him on the street. But to the room full of triathletes who gathered for the interview, Stadler represents the pinnacle of triathlon excellence. Each individual in that room who trains and aspires to compete in races of all distances is inspired by what Stadler stands for.


Thus, leaving the interview I was fired up and excited for the weekend as I am an Active Warrior! I drove straight to my local bike shop and picked up my bicycle, which just had the chain replaced. When I got home and flipped-on the television to an interview of Lokelani McMichael, the youngest female Ironman competitor. This got me even more pumped-up so I organized and set out my cycling gear on the floor of my room for my ride into work this morning before calling it a night.


So ask yourself this: What inspires you? I mean, what makes your heart beat fast and gives you goose-bumps? What stirs those bottled up emotions in a call-to-action? What does it take to get you off that couch and outside? Find that heart and feed it what it needs to strive and take you places: physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually.

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