Iron Bars to Iron Will.

Everyone has a story.

We are all human. We all have been confronted with challenges, made our share of mistakes, have a history of accomplishment and mishaps, and carry around the emotional residue of our years on this planet. All of this makes up the story of our life to this point.

As a triathlete I have learned that everyone has a story as to why they are at the starting line. Your reason might be deeply personal or it might just be that you are there to challenge your limits.  You might want to conquer your internal demons or you would just like to prove a point to your nemesis.

I also have a story. Until a few months ago, my motivation to enter Ironman was purely to challenge my own limits. To see how far I can push myself, to get back in shape and to cross that line and be called an Ironman. 

My motivation however changed on 20 September 2012 when I got arrested. 

Yes you heard right....

ARRESTED. 

There, I said it. 

Even though illegally, I still had to sit it out for 5 days.

So to all who think it got me down, you are so wrong.  Here's a flip of the finger, and it's not the index.

Spending  5 days with 30 other men in a South African jail is not really the place you want to spend your free time at.  These 5 days went by very slowly and obviously I had a lot of time to reflect on exactly how I got there in the first place. It also took away 5 days from my training regimen so needless to say I was frustrated and furious at myself and the world.

However, I had a choice during these 5 days.  Drop my head and shoulders and let the negative talk get to me or focus on the positive and work through every passing minute as if it was an endurance event. Head up, shoulders up and take it on the chin.

During this time I learnt that there are going to be ups and downs in your life and in your training.  How you deal with them will dictate how you race with them.  I for one am not a quitter and when these tough mental times hit me, I choose to hit them back.  

I will not be a punching bag for anybody, but especially my own mind.  

I will put my nose to the grindstone and push ahead, so that come race day when the going gets tough and others decide it is too hard,  I will keep going.  I am competitive and this is the way I will win.  I may not be the fastest or the strongest but I sure as hell will be one of the most determined.

We will all continue to endure the downs and the dark times, but remember that it is overcoming these that makes success the more sweeter.

I was once told that at some point, perhaps several points, over the course of an Ironman, you are going to feel bad — very bad. 

It is not a matter of if but of when this will happen. It is important to know that it will happen, and to have a plan to handle it when it does. The key is to keep moving forward. I have decided to take this advice and apply it to life as well as training.....

Keep pushing through, this too shall pass...

So, whats your story?

Barry Oberholzer

TerrorTech, 30 Wall Street, New York, NY, 10005

Born in Houston, Texas, a former professional rugby player and current CrossFit and Ironman athlete, Barry  is the founder of TerrorMate app and is a counter-terrorism and intelligence expert. Formerly Barry served as a confidential informant for Department of Homeland Security, Joint Terrorism Task Force, Belgium Customs Intelligence and HM Revenue & Customs Intelligence in the United Kingdom. 

One of his most impactful successes was in his identification of Iranian sanction busting syndicates who smuggled US manufactured aircraft and parts to Iran which led to the arrests of several prominent international businessmen. He also had numerous successes in major illicit cigarette seizures in Europe.