#MyIdeal Success Stories

How “Iron Cowboy” James Lawrence Did 30 Iron Distances in 1 Year – #MyIdeal



Don’t tell James Lawrence there isn’t enough time in the day to exercise. James, aka the Iron Cowboy, says that’s the biggest excuse he hears from people who aren’t making an effort to reach their #ideal.

His belief: “You have time for what you make time for.”

Hey, James set two world records in endurance racing, including completing 30 full Iron Distance races in a single year. And if anyone’s pressed for time, it’s a husband and father of five! But he set his mind to becoming an Iron Distance Warrior and that’s what he did.

In 2012, James swam, biked and ran across 11 countries. For those who don’t know, an Iron Distance is a 2.4-mile swim, followed by a 112-mile bike ride, and then a 26.2-mile marathon run. (It normally takes someone 1-2 years just to train for a single Iron Distance event.)

James said his feat was physically hard, but the mental taxation he surmounted was even greater. So how does this Guinness Record-Holding Triathlete stick with it? His secret is to set a goal and then do a belief check: if you believe in yourself, you’ll be able to fight for it no matter how hard it gets.

“You can set as many goals as you want. But without belief and conviction, it won’t happen,” he says.

While Iron Distance training is a long process and it isn’t always fun, the reward is worth it. The Iron Cowboy counts among his most fun moments: “Crossing the finish line, accomplishing that goal, and reaching marks physically and mentally that you never thought you’d reach before.”

Time to raise the bar on your #ideal? Check out James’s 3-minute video for inspiration.

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Chelsea Ratcliff

Chelsea Ratcliff

Writer and expert

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