The Berkeley Running Company is pleased to feature this month, Employee Andrew Maxfield.  Andrew graduated from Waunakee High School where he participated in many athletic opportunities such as Track, Cross Country and Swimming. During his college sophomore year Andrew approached the store that he has been purchasing his running shoes, since early in his high school career, for employment.  Andrew is currently applying for Law School after he graduates from the University of Wisconsin. In his spare time, he is the President of the UW Tri Team. This fall Andrew is participating with his father, Brad, in his first Ironman Wisconsin.  The following is a piece written by Andrew regarding his life and training while here in Madison.

The Balancing Act – Life as a College Student Training for Ironman

When I was 17, I saw my dad do his first Ironman.  At the time, I was a senior at Waunakee High School, right in the middle of my final cross-country season.  I had done a couple sprint triathlons with him over the past few summers, and fared pretty well with my background in swimming and running.  None of that would prepare me for witnessing Ironman.  The screaming crowds, the exhausting distances, the pain my dad went through to cross the finish line.  The race was like no athletic event I had ever been a part of or could ever have dreamt.  Hence, in that moment, my twisted subconscious told me, “Yeah, we’re going to do that someday”.  I made a deal with myself that by the time I finished college, I would finish my first Ironman.

Ironman

My dad finishing Ironman Wisconsin

Fast-forward four years to the summer of 2017, present day.  I am about to start my senior year of undergrad at UW-Madison, and have started to write my applications to law school.  I am the president of the Wisconsin Triathlon Team and the UW Legal Studies Association.  I work two jobs, one here at Madison’s very own Berkeley Running Company, where I have bought my shoes since high school.  And I kept my promise to myself.  I signed up for Ironman Wisconsin 2017, and have been training rigorously for the entire summer.

Berbee Derby

Me at the Berbee Derby

It probably would have been easy to go back on my promise.  I could always have told myself that life is crazy, that there is no reason that a senior in college prepping for law school should think about training for Ironman.  There would be a better time, a better summer.  While the first summer of being 21 years old, I have to turn down friends going out on a Friday evening because I have a long run the next day.  Or, I have to wake up early to hit Lake Monona in the morning knowing that I need to turn around and bike to work as soon as I am done.  Balancing my workouts, my jobs, and my life has been one of the toughest tests of my mental fortitude.

Ironman 70.3

70.3 Wisconsin Race number

However, I still keep going, and most of the time I enjoy my life and training.  I love those morning swims, the long rides alone with only your bike to keep you company.  I also love coming into work to sell running shoes here at the Berkeley Running Company, helping people get into the sport of running and hearing all of their amazing stories.  When I made that promise to myself four years ago, I did not want to do Ironman just to do it, to say “I finished”.  I wanted to be a part of the process, to be in that atmosphere at the finish line, to know that I put in my best and reaped the rewards.  This vision and desire keeps me going, allowing me to balance everything going on in my life.  I have also appreciated how my family, friends, coworkers, and teammates, all of whom have supported me endlessly through this whole process.  Finally, of course, my dad, Brad, who signed up for his second Ironman this year just to do the event with me.  I am hoping that after I am done with my race, I can turn around and watch him cross the finish line for the second time, and take me back to where everything all began.

Ironman 70.3 Finish

My dad and I before Wisconsin 70.3

After the Ironman in a few weeks, my whole life will hopefully go back to normal.  I will go in for my regular weekday shift at Berkeley, and get to tell my race story to all my coworkers.  I will go to my daily classes at UW-Madison just like a normal semester.  I will finish my law school applications.  However, maybe….everything will not be completely normal, not really.  I will be an Ironman.

Written by Alec