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This Moment Brought to you by the Supporters of ‘Keep Calm and Carry On’

While lying incapacitated in the middle of his first Ironman Triathlon, Dan 'the Ironman' F looked to the slogan Keep Calm and Carry On for support... image If you would have asked Dan F last week if he’d be happy to finish his first Ironman in a little under 15 hours, he would have said something along the lines of, ‘Absolutely not.’ Dan would have considered this time completely unacceptable. An absolute disaster would have to strike for that to happen. But that’s exactly what happened this weekend in Penticton. They say that people’s true colours come out during tough times, that you learn more from failure than success, that character is built through adversity. Although the weekend didn’t go according to plan, Dan’s true colours came through, and it’s no surprise to discover that he’s one tough as nails athlete, and an even stronger person. Things started out well. “I felt great on the swim, finishing in 81 minutes and 28 seconds,” remembers Dan, whose goal was to be in the 80 to 90 minute range on the first leg of the triathlon. “I headed out on my bike and was feeling good through about 40 km, and slightly ahead of my goal for a 6-hour bike ride,” he continued. Then trouble hit. His stomach started to hurt. “I passed an aid station near 40 km and kept going. By about 45 km, my stomach discomfort was full blown severe cramps, and I had to slow my pace down,” he said. “I made it another 2 km and pulled off to the side of the road and violently vomited four or five times.” (After having had a chance to digest the day, Dan is certain that what he was suffering from was acute onset over hydration-induced hyponatremia. In layman’s terms, basically he didn’t have enough sodium in his blood, and he swallowed too much lake water). After the vomiting, Dan alternated between lying down, sitting up, and trying to stand. Many people tried to come to his rescue, encouraging him to eat something. He got back on his bike. “I made it about two miles and had to pull off again and nearly puked,” he said. “At that point, a race official pulled up because every other cyclist had passed me, and I was officially the last bike,” said Dan. “She asked if I was giving up.” But Dan was determined to carry on despite this moment being “one of my lowest points in athletics ever.” There he was, fitter than he had ever been before. He had done everything he could in the last year to prepare for the Ironman. He made CrossFit an integral part of his preparation. He became way stronger. “Not Lumber strong, but strong for me,” said Dan. He changed the way he ate. He leaned out. He even took six weeks off his job as a geotechnical engineer to really give it all he had. His parents flew in to cheer him on. And there he was, in last place, looking like he wouldn’t finish race. “My first thoughts were the disappointment in myself, my friends and family,” he said. “But lying on my back during that hour and a half, what kept me going was Patty and the sign at the gym – Keep Calm and Carry On.” He looked at the race official. “I told her I wasn’t dropping out…and after about an hour and 45 minutes of being completely immovable, I got back on my bike in last place and started to cycle again.” After all was said and done, Dan ran a four hour and thirty minute marathon (with an eight second negative split) to top off the day. “It didn’t hurt. I was so proud of myself for getting up and keeping going…I stepped back and thought about what we say during a hard workout at CrossFit - think about all the good shit in your life… I didn’t care about my time anymore, just about crossing the line…” said Dan. Cross the line, he did. “I ran the last 2 km through town with people lined up along the streets cheering...My family and some friends were waiting for me, 20 metres from the finish line and handed me my CrossFit Vancouver shirt, which I put on while running, high-fived a few people in the chute on the way towards the tape.” Dan’s intention had been to complete the Ironman in 11 hours. He crossed the line almost four hours short of his goal, in 14 hours, 58 minutes, and 25 seconds. He says he’s never felt so accomplished in his life. We’re so proud of you, Dan. Reading your e-mail brought tears to my eyes. Today's workout Gymnastics Warm up: backward 400m run Tech: skin the cat/front & back lever Workout: AMRAP in 20 minutes of 1 Rope climb 5 HSPU 7 Ring dips 12 Pistols (6each leg) 15 Box jumps (20/24") 21 V-ups Remember to bring a sock