Facebook post from Andy’s wife Tara….
Andy is an official Iron Man!!! Yesterday we watched him cross off a bucket list item that was 15 months in the making! Only Andy would have the luck of there being a monsoon in the desert he would have have to battle throughout the day!!! It took him 13 hours 14min and 47 sec. His goal was to finish in 14 hours. 3 hours under the required 17 hour time limit. He beat his personal goal by 45 minutes!! He swam 2.4 miles, biked 112 miles, and ran a full marathon 26.2 miles. It was amazing to watch. He has been training 20 hours a week for it in addition to working and coaching and all of his other life responsibilities. His dedication and preparation paid off. He went from 0 training 15 months ago never a runner, swimmer, or biker (outside of recreational fun) and put his mind to it and achieved his goal. He has inspired and taught the kids and me that we can achieve anything with dedication and hard work! It is truly an emotional and awesome life changing experience. Even for a family member supporting a loved one. It has been an honor to watch and experience my Iron Man achieve his goal. I had no doubt he would, but to travel this 15 month journey with him, and see him firsthand achieve his goal was something I feel so lucky to have been a part of! He inspires me everyday. Thank you to our family who flew to AZ to watch, our family who lives here who invited us to stay this week, and to our wonderful supportive family and amazing friends who texted throughout the week. Also, thanks to those who stayed up to watch him cross the finish line live online! Andy (and the kids and I) were so touched by the love and support. xoxo.
Sometimes the best posts are the ones not written by the blog’s author – this week is one of those times. My good friend Andy Erpelding is an Ironman! Andy was an accomplished athlete in high school and college, playing football for the Division II powerhouse, Northeast Missouri State. Following college, Andy played recreationally and focused his efforts on his career and his family. A few years back his daughter Charly was diagnosed with Ewing’s sarcoma, a rare form of bone cancer. At this time in his life Andy reached a low point in terms of his physical health, rarely exercising and tipping the scales at 308 lbs. Charly made it through her treatments and became cancer free – thank God! In 2014 Andy announced he was preparing to compete in an Ironman triathlon. His athletic history suggested that he could do it while his current fitness level suggested otherwise.
Of course you know Andy did it. What you don’t know is what he went through to get it done. Andy followed a rigorous 26 week training program where he lost over 50 lbs and pushed himself to workout 1-2 times/day for 6 days/week. He competed in 3 triathlons in preparation for his Ironman and he beat his targeted goal for these 3 races as well. Rick and I had the privilege of working out with Andy during his long Sunday morning runs and we experienced first hand his improvement over the summer and the fall. In addition to staying committed to his training, Andy committed to a change in diet and followed a strict training regimen where he stayed in certain aerobic zones, even when it was exhausting.
Andy’s achievement serves as a reminder that if we are serious about a goal, put a game plan in place and stick to it, our chances for success are almost guaranteed. Thank you Andy!
Success is pursuing your goals with passion.