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"Nothing Else Matters..."

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Written by Pat Curran

Posted on 17 January 2018

Last Updated 17 January 2018


Yesterday I completed the NYC Nautica Triathlon. Details about race results and lessons learned can be found in the “This Week’s Training Section.”


Before reviewing details about the race, I want to highlight a more fundamental point that I think will serve you well as you go into Week 10. As you fight and experience those highs and lows, remember to trust in who you are. Because in the end, nothing else matters…



Motivational Message:


So close, no matter how far,

Couldn’t be much more from the heart

Forever trust who we are

And nothing else matters


Never opened myself this way

Life is ours, we live it our way

All these words I don’t just say

And nothing else matters


Never cared for what they say

Never cared for games they play

Never cared for what they do

Never cared for what they know

But I know…

Metallica singing “Nothing Else Matters”

To view video, click here



Last week, we transitioned into our final 4-week stretch where we began “fighting” at a whole new level of intensity. Typically more is accomplished in these last 4 weeks than in the previous 8 weeks combined.


One of the tasks I asked you to consider doing was to write down all your strengths, read them out loud, and seize every moment moving forward to live those traits. If you have not done this yet, do so immediately! It is essential for taking the leap needed for this week’s reflection. As someone who did this full exercise last week, let me describe what I experienced.


To quickly summarize, l think doing this task in the context of all of the other work done to date provided me a new perspective that I had not experienced before. Given all of the changes associated with having a new child in the house, I almost said something negative at least a dozen times. No single event would have been that big of a deal, but all of these small events combined would have set the wrong tone. However, because I exercised enough discipline, enough self-trust to pull from my strengths list fresh in my mind, I successfully chose to be the best person I could be at that moment.


As these moments added up, I found myself in a different and more positive state of mind. I noticed that my priorities became clearer. My thinking became sharper. And, most notably by Wednesday, I noticed that I was making increased eye contact with people and engaging in more clear, confident dialogue. All of this was great, but I still could not put my finger fully on why this was occurring until the day of the triathlon.


Race Day started a bit earlier for me than in the previous year. At 1:35am Julia needed a diaper change and feeding. By 2:30am, Julia was back in her crib, and I began stretching for the race. Leaving the house at 3:15am, I make it to the NYC Triathlon start point at 4:45am to stage all of my stuff and then walked 1 mile to the swim start with my wet suit on my shoulder. At that point, it was pouring rain. Then we had the rain delay, causing many of the few thousand triathletes around me to become increasingly anxious.


Around 6:20am, groups of 20 triathletes were called forward to begin jumping into the choppy Hudson waters. The current was extremely strong. Looking at the first triathletes swimming, I thought, “Man, if you’re not an experienced swimmer, you’re going to be in a world of panic!” After about 20 groups went forward, we had a 30 minute pause. What I did not know was that we were beginning the Para Triathlete portion of the race where people missing arms, legs, or paralyzed from the waste down were getting ready to go. Visually impaired racers were also guided to the start line as the waves smacked against a shaking dock.


As I watched them jump into the water, my eyes got wide and my mouth gaped wide open. The first words that came out of me after hours of standing around in silence made little sense to the competitors around me. “NOTHING ELSE MATTERS!” I exclaimed loudly. I don’t think even I fully understood why I said what I said at that moment.


About 2 minutes later, after continuing to watch these disabled triathletes swim wave after wave anyway they could, my brain began to register why I said those words spontaneously moments earlier. What I was watching were profiles in courage who have chosen to live life bravely instead of in fear. This group does not follow society’s rules of what they can and can’t do. Instead they have enough self-trust to blaze their path with the tools that they have. Their message: I have the will to live life to the fullest!! Regardless of what you may think, I know that nothing else matters…


After wiping a tear from my left eye on an otherwise unemotional face, I begin slowly nodding and thinking to myself, “If someone could experience what I am experiencing right now, I know they would better understand what I am writing about.” To be clear, the emotion I felt was not out of grief or sorrow. It was purely from being proud to be around such amazing individuals who continue to teach me how to endure.


Spending 5 years doing these races, being with these folks, and fundraising for their causes continues to change me. This was the missing piece I could not identify earlier in the week. Largely because of their influence, their embodiment of all the values I am writing about, I am able to take another leap forward in becoming a better person.            


I hope this week’s note compels you to endure as well. Take that next step today in completely trusting yourself and redefining what is possible.  


Just 3 more weeks left. Until next time…


God Bless,





Did this week’s message help you? If yes, here’s an opportunity to help other Great Americas, starting at just $25.


  • Fisher House: To donate, click here
  • Wounded Warrior Project: To donate, click here
  • Children of Fallen Patriots: To donate, click here,
  • Tuesday’s Children   To donate, click here
  • USO’s Operation Care Package  To donate, click here




This Week’s Training Schedule


Below is a comparison of last year’s and this year’s race results:


                                    2010                                       2011

Swim                          20:12                                      20:08

TZ1                             08:05                                      08:25

Bike                            1:18:59                                  1:23:08

TZ2                             05:21                                      6:08

Run                            59:18                                      1:01:32


Total                           2:51:53                                  2:59:19



Good news includes that I completed the race today fully confident that I will be able to sustain myself through the complete 70.3 mile Toughman race on September 11th. Weather conditions were challenging and during the run, I had the chance to practice my “Clydesdale” run style which I will write more about next week.


Learning includes the following:

  • My body feels “beat up.” Transitions are taking a long time due to the need to stretch.   Even with the stretching I have a lot of pain in my knees with limited flexibility when on the run. Biking steep hills also impacts my left knee as well.


  • Need to spend more time deliberately planning nutrition and hydration 72 hours prior to the race


  • Still need to organize myself a little bit better in the transition area. Because of my need to use the restroom and stretch between events, I will still take a longer amount of time compared to others; however, I can probably save about 1 min during each visit.

  • I am very sleep deprived. If possible (and it may not be possible), try to sleep 6-8 hours for the 3 days prior to the Westchester Toughman.


For next steps, I am going to take this week as big recovery week with a Sprint Triathlon on Saturday running with my brother. Primary focus for this week will be swimming, stretching, icing, and proper nutrition.


Below is this week’s plan:

Monday: Rest / Full Body Stretch / Ice

Tuesday: Rest / Full Body Stretch / Ice

Wednesday:  Swim 10 x 100m / Stretch / Ice

Thursday: Swim 2 X 800m / Stretch / Ice

Friday: Pilates / Stretch / Ice

Saturday:  SBR Sprint Triathlon - S: 800m / B:15 miles / R: 3.1 miles
Sunday:  Rest / Assess Next Steps

   NYT 8_Mission Complete