Arizona dreams…

Dreams….we all have them.  They fuel our existence, they let us ponder on a brighter future, and the path to realize them fills our lives with excitement, fulfillment and growth.  I want to share a story with you from an experience I had where I wasn’t sure if I was going to be able to realize a dream of mine…  It was back in 2006 and I was entered to race in Ironman Arizona which was being held in Tempe near Phoenix. 

I found myself at the race start treading water with 2,300 other people in Tempe Town Lake.  2,300 hundred other people!  Now, I don’t know if any of you have participated in or witnessed a triathlon mass swim start with 2,300 people…but I can tell you one thing…it isn’t pretty!  To try and help you visualize what I am talking about…imagine a massive piranha feeding frenzy!  It is one large mass of arms and legs flailing about…folks getting kicked in the head, goggles getting knocked off…the first 10 minutes are a bit scary to say the least! 

Alright, so here I am at the start of the race right after the cannon went off… I had always been a good swimmer and had not expected any problems…well as it turns out…I started having a panic attack.  I began to hyperventilate and have a lot of anxiety and felt an urgent need to try to swim over to the side of the lake.  So after a terrifying handful of minutes of trying to keep my head above water and working my way sideways through a tangled mass of swimmers I got over to the side.  First thing I did was take some deep breaths…and then I tried to make sense of what just happened.  I was confused, scared and anxious all at the same time.  Confused as to why it had happened and scared that I might not be able to continue and finish the race and accomplish my year long goal….luckily for me the deep breathing exercises really helped my anxiety begin to pass.  After a few more minutes of relaxing, I then made my way back out into the water and proceeded to complete the swim portion. 

For a moment though…I didn’t know if I would be able to….My whole Ironman dream that I trained for, visualized and made sacrifices in my life for a whole year almost didn’t happen.  I can tell you that the feeling of triumph, relief, happiness, joy and fulfillment felt even sweeter when I crossed the finish line 13 hours later after the terrifying start to my day… I felt like I knew how I was going to reach the finish line that day, but life as it sometimes does…threw a wrench in my works with the panic attack.  I had to re focus and allow things to unfold a bit differently than I had originally planned.  I still accomplished my goal because I held that intention…but I just had to be open to take a different road to get there.  

You are no different….

Published by: gbrianbenson

Founder of Reawaken Media. Writer, multiple award-winning author, TEDx speaker, actor, filmmaker, storyteller, inspirational poet, radio personality, finisher of over 50 triathlons (including 4 Ironman distance races) and cross-country bicyclist. 2016 is already heating up for Brian as he he has a recurring part on the new TV show Sangre Negra, has been invited to give a TEDx talk in Pasadena at the end of May, was interviewed for the soon to be released documentary The Last Formula and will be releasing his new film short Searching for Happiness in early summer. In addition to acting in TV and film, Brian enjoys creating his own projects. In 2011 Brian created Guitar Man, a movie project that he wrote, produced and acted in that was filmed in downtown Reno, Nevada. The movie was written by Brian with the idea of sharing the messages ‘that we all have a lot in common’ and ‘that our true gifts reside within ourselves.’ Guitar Man was well received and was accepted to 11 movie festivals and was a winner at the Love Unlimited Film and Art Festival, won an honorable mention prize in the narrative short category at the 2011 Los Angeles Movie Awards as well as a Golden Reel Award from the Nevada Film Festival. Before Brian got into acting he authored four books, including Brian’s List – 26 1/2 Easy To Use Ideas on How to Live A Fun, Balanced, Healthy Life! which was the winner of a 2009 Next Generation Indie Book Award in the Self-Help category. Brian’s latest book Finding Your Voice was an award-winning Finalist in both the 2013 USA Book News and the Indie Excellence Book Awards. Brian lives in Los Angeles, California and will be releasing his first children's book "Steve the Alien" in late October of 2016. Visit Brian's website -

Categories balance, empowerment, happiness, inspiration, Ironman, jogging, life coach, life coaching, lifecoach, peace, personal growth, running, Self improvement, Self improvement, triathlete, workshopTags, , , , , , , , , , , , , 3 Comments

3 thoughts on “Arizona dreams…”

  1. Dear Brian:
    Thank You for Being Real and share with us your experiences!
    This comes to Lupita in The Perfect Moment =)
    Hugs and Smiles
    remember to remember: YOU ARE AMAZING “ONE”
    Lupita Villalvazo

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