For me, the standout moment of 2021 was running the London Marathon for Mind. It was no secret that I had wanted to take part in the iconic London event for a number of years. And to do it for such an amazing charity and cause that means so much to me made it better than I could have possibly imagined.

The whole event came to me at the perfect time. I was offered a place during the November lockdown of 2020. Which is something the South of England – where I call home – never recovered from as Christmas was cancelled before the third national lockdown was announced in early 2021.

The London Marathon and fundraising for it gave me a reason to smile when there wasn’t an awful lot to smile about. It took me 4:19:41 to complete the 26.2 mile course around the capital on October 3rd. Since then my fundraising page has closed, bringing my entire London Marathon journey to an end.

18 miles deep into the London Marathon

When something brings that much joy into my life I’d be a fool to stop once I crossed the finish line. I didn’t realise it at the time, certainly not during those 20 mile training runs first thing on a Sunday morning. So I’ve set my sights on another endurance based challenge. The biggest triathlon event in the world as a matter of fact- the Ironman.

The Cork Ironman

An Ironman consists of a 2.4 mile swim, 112 mile cycle and a full marathon (26.2 miles) one after the other after the other. With the average completion time just shy of 13 hours.

There are many glamorous locations around the world where one can become an Ironman. Hawaii, Portugal and Bolton to name a few. However, and a lot of you won’t know this, I’m half-Irish. Not only does half of my bloodline come from the Emerald Isle, but both of my mother’s parents grew up in Cork before moving to London in the 1950s. And, rather shockingly for someone who considers himself well travelled, I’ve never been to Ireland.

Me and my nanny

With all that in my mind, I just have to attempt to achieve Ironman status in Ireland. It can’t be anywhere else. In an ideal world I will get to Ireland before I attempt the Ironman. But if the last two years have taught us anything – we don’t live in an ideal world.

The ‘Becoming an Ironman’ series

As the title suggests, this blog post is the first in a bigger series that will last until I become an Ironman. Ideally that will be August 2023. However, anything can happen. Injury, illness, new COVID variant, it’s impossible to know really.

What I do know is I want to document the journey right here on Life of Mind because, like most people who are reading this – I can’t do an Ironman. I’m not Gordon Ramsay (As much as I wish I was).

I don’t know how frequently I’ll be posting in this series or how many parts it’ll be made up of. It could be once a month, once a fortnight or once every six weeks. What they will consist of is anything I believe contributes to my journey to becoming an Ironman. Whether that be diet, improved wellbeing habits or other races I’m taking part in along the way. If I do something I believe contributes to the journey, I’ll write about it here.

The Wim Hof method – an example of a practice that improved my wellbeing

The reason I’m choosing to include this on a mental health awareness blog is a simple one. We live in a world where we’re either telling ourselves or being told by others we can’t do things. Over the years that has done a lot of damage to my self-esteem and my mental health as a result. This series is simply me documenting my journey from someone who can’t do an Ironman to someone who (hopefully) can.

There’s a long way to go before I consider myself ‘Ironman ready’ which is why I’m aiming for August 2023. The 2022 event is too soon considering all of the training, prep and costs involved. As a matter of fact I can barely swim as it stands. Therefore my anxiety levels would be through the roof if I tried to squeeze one in this year.

I have little doubt this will be the hardest physical challenge I will ever do. It goes without saying really. If an Ironman was easy everyone would be doing them. But, as was the case for the London to Paris cycle and London Marathon, I cannot wait for the challenge.

Like what you see? Please take a look at some of my other posts below
My London Marathon experience
The Wim Hof Method
Other links
Mind website
Cork Ironman

Ironman journey – part one

Jordan Camp

I’ve been sharing my writing with the world since 2015. Back then it was about travel, then I transitioned into wellbeing and mental health awareness. Soon after I was being paid for it as I wrote about sports, politics and, of course, the pandemic. My words have been published in the i, Mancunian Matters and a number of the South West London associated publications. In 2021 I ran my first marathon, for the UK mental health charity, Mind. I currently live in Essex where I am training to become an Ironman.

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