True Inspiration from Sporting Ironmen

by Naomi on March 31, 2012

in Daily Life, Studio

Cycling shoes and helmet, photographed by Naomi Estment of OV&P Studio

There’s no excuse. My cycling gear has been staring forlornly at me for weeks, and I’ve been pretending not to notice . . . or blaming my exercise (and blogging!) neglect on the rhino, since we’ve been so tied up filming for them. That’s not fair, though. It’s not as if they asked for it. No-one held a gun to my head, unlike poachers have been doing to theirs.

Why is it that balance seems so tricky to master? I guess it has to do with priorities, and mine have been focussed on serving the cause of saving the rhino, other photographic work and creating WordPress websites and blogs, one of which has led to true inspiration. A special friend of ours recently launched In-Touch, a by-invitation, business networking initiative for the purpose of synergizing, strategizing and recharging – based upon connecting with like-minded people who share similar values.

An inherent benefit is the opportunity to inspire others and be inspired by shared success stories about business and life. It has been my pleasure to create the website for this group, and being passionate about writing, I was approached by one of the partners, Keith Fairhurst, to transcribe his story, which incorporates a profoundly inspiring, lightbulb moment. This spans a ten-year period, during which Keith found himself neglecting health and fitness goals in favour of striving for (considerable) work success.

Having previously been exposed via the media to the first Ironman extreme triathlon in 1978, he had developed a vision of this series being the pinnacle of sporting achievement, reserved solely for superheroes. Yet, through the course of the story, Keith unwraps a precious gift, in the form of insight into his phenomenal experience of witnessing the American, Randy Caddell, a paraplegic man, complete an entire Ironman event, including a 3.8km ocean swim, 180km cycle (using a hand-powered bicycle/wheelchair) and 42km “run”, also in a hand-powered wheelchair.

It turned out that Randy had been the victim of a drunk driving accident, before dedicating his life to participating in Ironman and sharing his personal story around the world, highlighting the perils of drinking and driving to all who would listen.

As a direct result of watching Randy’s amazing accomplishment, Keith went on to complete 5 Ironman SA events and 1 Ironman Australia event and sums up by sharing his dramatic realization that “no goal is too difficult, and if we just stop finding excuses, we will achieve so much more than what we thought possible”.

Isn’t that the truth?

Here is a link to Keith’s special story Ironman: Event, Sport, Lifestyle or Metaphor for Life and another to a moving video tribute for the late Randy Caddell, who passed away in 2005 after being knocked off his hybrid racing cycle while training in Hawaii:

Sincere thanks to both of these exceptional men for their true inspiration and powerful life philosophy. Now it’s time to get my cycling gear into action, instead of being solely the subject of studio photography!

{ 10 comments… read them below or add one }

Kate Shrewsday March 31, 2012 at 2:52 pm

What an inspiration Randy is! That kind of attitude to life gives one new drive to get the best out of life 🙂


Naomi April 1, 2012 at 9:35 am

So true, Kate…deeply humbling!


nrhatch March 31, 2012 at 6:27 pm

Glad that you are focused on your priorities, Naomi! When we know WHO we are . . . we know HOW to live.


Naomi April 1, 2012 at 9:36 am

Hear, hear, Nancy…thanks for that!


[email protected] April 3, 2012 at 5:14 am

I’ve just published a post on Perseverance. The two men have it! Thanks for their stories, Naomi.


Naomi April 3, 2012 at 7:49 am

Absolutely, Amy! Will pop over to read your post now 🙂


Michael May 3, 2012 at 2:20 am

Randy did several Ironmans in my home town of Lake placid NY. and was a mentor to my sister while we were growing up. one year i remember that i was about 8, my mother was asked by her boss, who was also Randy’s business manager if she would be willing to drive randy to the different venues he was scheduled to speak at about drunk driving that day. he gave an amazing speech about drinking and driving, he told his story about how he had bought a pack of beer and could not fit it all on his motorcycle so he drank several before heading home that night and how he got in the accident. since his audience was mostly kids we did not really understand the message at the time, we were of course more interested if he had ever seen a shark since he was from Hawaii. but looking back i realize how much of an impact he had on me and on my entire family. he was a truly amazing man


Naomi May 8, 2012 at 4:31 pm

Wow, what a wonderful comment – thank you so much, Michael, for sharing this special insight into the amazing inspiration spread by Randy. I really appreciate it! There is something truly touching about connecting with his message so far across the world, and heart-warming to think that his legacy continues. I’ll share your story with Keith, who was so inspired himself by watching Randy in action at Ironman, and who told me all about it. Many thanks again and warmest wishes from SA, Naomi


Jamie Dedes July 26, 2012 at 6:14 pm

Thanks for sharing the information.

I guess we all better get moving. 😉


Naomi July 30, 2012 at 4:46 pm

Pleasure, Jamie…working on it! xo


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