Faith Middleton Show: Amy Bloom and the Author of You Are an Ironman

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Faith Middleton Show: Amy Bloom and the Author of You Are an Ironman
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Faith Middleton Show: Amy Bloom and the Author of You Are an Ironman

The Ironman triathlon: a 2.4-mile open-water swim, a 112-mile bike ride, and a 26-mile marathon run—all completed in seventeen hours or less. For some, that demonstration of stamina and quitlessness is a life-defining goal. Jacques Steinberg’s You Are an Ironman follows six hobbyist triathletes through their grueling preparation and the suspense of completing each event of the Ford Ironman Arizona 2009. Steinberg joins us.




I was somewhat disappointed by your reaction to the book interview. I need to listen again, but you seemed hung up on how dangerous the sport is, stating over and over how dangerous it is. I am an IM finisher along with other endurance activities and I have to am mystified by the depth of your reaction.

The danger is probably in the training, where dedication to countless hours of riding and running on the open roads leaves us exposed to drivers. The hours of pushing ourselves prepares us for the event, by the time you get to the race it should be a catered training day. Of course I am leaving out the myriad of race day issues - weather, pushing oneself further than planned and just having a bad day. Not to mention those who are not ready; in either case there are many reasons one can have a bad day.

All this being said, your reaction has me believing you simply have not witnessed a triathlon. I would welcome you to visit a race and feel the energy, the joy, pain and exhilaration of the finishers. Doesn't have to be an IM event, people will struggle at all levels and the joy of finishing can be found. Perhaps the joy of finishing an IM is just a bit sweeter. (Note, don't just see the finish - there is prep early in the morning, the swim, transitions and eventually the finish.)

Remember when talking of death, not everyone lives but everyone dies.