42 - Paul Wilson


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In this episode we hear from Ironman Wisconsin finisher, Paul Wilson. Paul and his wife of 33 years, Charlette, live in San Antonio, TX and have two adult children. Paul serves as pastor at Cibolocreek Community Church which he started 25 years ago.

Paul describes himself as being an average athlete growing up. He shares that he went to small private schools and played basketball, soccer, and ran track. He feels that it was the comradery, more than the competition, that drew him to team sports.

He did have the opportunity to play soccer and run track for the first two years of college but suffered a knee injury that caused him to put his athletic career on hold. He acknowledges that he found himself in a similar situation that a lot of us can relate to, he would start the new year with a goal of getting in shape. After two weeks that goal would be put off due to other obligations.

When I challenge Paul on his statement that he was only able to play sports because he went to a “small” school, he stands by his claim. He believes that while he was quick and coordinated, he enjoyed encouraging other athletes and being a good sport over anything else. Something that he has brought with him into triathlon. He feels that from the back of the pack, he is better able to cheer his fellow competitors and thank the volunteers and police staff on course.

I ask Paul why he selected Ironman Wisconsin as his full distance race. He shares that several factors went into his decision. Among others he cites the time of year, cooler climate, and the lake swim would help reduce some difficulty but in the end he and his wife spent 6 years in Madison and have a strong connection to the area. Paul was first introduced to cycling in Madison and still has friends that live there that he knew he could stay with to keep cost down.

Paul reveals that while he “found” triathlon after turning 50 his fascination of the sport dates back to when he read about one of the original Hawaii races in Sports Illustrated when he was 18 years old. He talks us through how he started out by doing a Sprint distance race in Austin, TX and then after several years moved up to the half-distance at Ironman 70.3 Texas in Galveston.

After completing several more ¼ and ½ distance races Paul realizes that he was letting fear get into way of attempting a full. After researching his options, he “clicked” send and registered for Ironman Wisconsin in 2019. The race was originally scheduled for 2020 which would be cancelled because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Paul believes that the additional year to train was good for him personally.

We spend a few minutes comparing the similarities in our stories. I recall my concern over wearing tri-shorts in public the first time. Paul provides the mantra that he adopted after coming out of his two years of reflection. #iwillnotquit

We agree that the 70.3 race is a fantastic distance. While you still have to train, the training is much less then for a full distance race. Its not as expense and most of our non-triathlon friends don’t know the difference between completing and ½ or full Ironman race. However, Paul does say that he plans to finish 3 full Ironman races. He lists several factors that would require him to space them out over a period of time.

Paul provides a breakdown, by discipline, of his Ironman Wisconsin race. I’m compelled to admit that I have a problem that my require professional help.

I ask Paul to elaborate on something that he posted in the Pathetic Triathletes Facebook Group. We spend some time talking about the importance of having a “why.” We both have experienced a sense of loss of direction after completing something that we trained for years to prepare for.

While he claims to hate running Paul talks about his 3 stand-alone marathons. He recently completed the Rock and Roll Marathon in San Antonio. His goal was to enjoy the day and ex

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