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Documentary showing six months of training culminating with my competition in the Expedition Man (my fourth Ironman distance Triathlon)

I am an ordinary guy: I am a public school teacher, I am married, and have a seven month old son.  However, one unique thing about me is that I enjoy competing in Triathlons, especially the 140.6 mile 'Ironman' distance Triathlons.  I am definitely not a professional athlete though, I pay for all my own equipment and have to fit all my training around my work schedule and around my family responsibilities.  This fact though - that I am able to compete in Ironman Triathlons while still fulfilling all my other duties and responsibilities - is what sets the stage for a great story and documentary.

When new acquaintances, friends, coworkers, and even family members find out I have done and will continue to compete in Ironman Triathlons, nearly everyone at some point asks me one of the following questions: "You swim 2.4 miles then bike 112 miles and then run a marathon (26.2 miles)?  You do this all at once - like in the same day and not over the course of a week?  How is this humanly possible?"  I love answering these questions, but my favorite question to answer is "How do you begin the process of training for something like this?"  I especially love answering this question because completing an Ironman is something I believe anyone could accomplish if they wanted to badly enough; I feel that I am proof of this because I really am an ordinary guy.  What makes my story special though is that I fit all the training around working full-time as a public school teacher and being a dedicated husband and father; these are areas of my life that I do not neglect.  This is the story that I want to share with the world. 

After telling the story countless times of how I went from living a completely sedentary life and being 60 pounds overweight to 'becoming' an Ironman by training for and completing numerous Triathlons including three Ironman distance races, I started developing a vision of how I could more effectively share my story with the world.  My vision evolved into what this Kickstarter project is all about: producing and filming my own documentary.  I am signed up for my fourth Ironman distance Triathlon in August of 2013.  The documentary I plan to make will capture six months of training leading up to the race and show exactly what goes in to training for an Ironman.  This documentary, entitled "What It Takes To Be An Ironman," will be an unfiltered look at what a Triathlete has to do every day over the course of six months to be prepared for the 140.6 mile race.  It will show the sacrifices that I make to get my swimming, biking, running, and strength-training workouts in without faltering as a husband, father, and professional educator.  Some of these sacrifices I make include waking up at 4:00 am to swim laps before work, commuting to and from work by bike (an approximately 30 mile round trip), and helping put my newborn son to sleep before going for late-night runs.  This documentary will be an intimate showcase of my life and the sacrifices I make so that competing in Ironman Triathlons can be an integral part of my life.

A very important part of my story lies in what motivated me to make a change in my life.  I used to take the Metro (D.C.'s public transportation) system to and from work, but the infamously poor service and outrageous cost of commuting this way were causing serious frustrations in my life.  Fortunately, a friend showed me how I could avoid all this stress by riding my bike to work.  This chance event literally changed my life, and to properly tell my story about how I became an Ironman and continue to train for these races, I must detail what the conditions of my commute and life were like before making this change.  Motivation is a huge part of the training that goes into preparing for a 140.6 mile Triathlon, and as you will see, I had some very strong motivation to cut the Metro out of my life and become as good of a cyclist as possible to allow me to bike into work on a daily basis.  This is an integral part of my story and will be given its due part in my documentary.

The questions "How is completing a 140.6 mile Triathlon even possible?" and "How do you begin the training process for something like that?" are two of the main questions I am going to answer by creating this documentary. 

Crossing the finish line of the 2011 Chesapeake Man; this was my first Ironman distance Triathlon.
Crossing the finish line of the 2011 Chesapeake Man; this was my first Ironman distance Triathlon.
140.6 miles down, about to cross the finish line (photo by Chance Hammock).
140.6 miles down, about to cross the finish line (photo by Chance Hammock).
My newborn son Mason and I after finishing the 2011 Coeur d'Alene Ironman.
My newborn son Mason and I after finishing the 2011 Coeur d'Alene Ironman.
My wife Michelle and I after the Chesapeake Man (photo by Chance Hammock).
My wife Michelle and I after the Chesapeake Man (photo by Chance Hammock).
Posing with my finisher's medal after the Kinetic Half.
Posing with my finisher's medal after the Kinetic Half.
Crossing the finish line of the 2012 Coeur d'Alene Ironman.
Crossing the finish line of the 2012 Coeur d'Alene Ironman.
In preparation for one of my Ironman Triathlons, I ran the Charlottesville Marathon.  Here I am after the race with my finisher's medal.
In preparation for one of my Ironman Triathlons, I ran the Charlottesville Marathon. Here I am after the race with my finisher's medal.
Crossing the finish line of the Luray International (Olympic Distance) Triathlon.
Crossing the finish line of the Luray International (Olympic Distance) Triathlon.

Risks and challenges Learn about accountability on Kickstarter

Competing in and completing an Ironman distance Triathlon (140.6 miles) is a serious undertaking. It takes a physical and emotional toll on every Triathlete in the months of training and during the race (which can last up to 17 hours). A Triathlete must sign up for the race months - if not an entire year - in advance and stay committed to his or her training the entire time leading up to the race. It is rare to not experience at least some type of minor injury during the extensive training that goes into preparing for an Ironman. Realistically, I will need to plan on being adaptable and flexible as injuries and setbacks arise, fluidly shifting the focus of my training from one component of the race to another. All of these potential setbacks and my preparations for them will be included in the documentary. Having completed three Ironman distance Triathlons and numerous other Triathlons of shorter distances, I have developed preventative routines that allow me to avoid most injuries. Regardless of the risks and challenges that face all potential Ironman finishers, I am registered, training, and fully committed to completing my fourth Ironman distance Triathlon.

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    Thank you for your support! Every dollar helps bring this story to the world. Your name will appear in the 'Special Thanks To' segment at the end of documentary.

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    All of the above, plus you will get your very own red 'Indomitable Will' wristband, just like the one I have been wearing since I started training for my first Ironman Triathlon. This wristband will help you remember that "strength does not come from physical capacity, it comes from an indomitable will."

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    This reward is just like the $10 reward, but instead of getting the 'Indomitable Will' wristband in the color red, you can choose any color you want! Just like the red one, this wristband will help you remember that "strength does not come from physical capacity, it comes from an indomitable will."

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    All of the above, plus your very own copy of the finished documentary 'What It Takes To Be An Ironman.'

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    All of the above, plus your finished copy of 'What It Takes To Be An Ironman' will be accompanied by a 2 disk soundtrack from the documentary. The songs will be enjoyable to anyone who likes listening to music and inspirational to all athletes who want to push themselves.

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    All of the above, plus a hard copy picture album of outstanding photographs taken during each of the components of training and during the actual race. Each picture will have a date and description so you know how it fits into the Ironman training process.

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    All of the above, plus the 'Finisher's Shirt' that I receive when I cross the finish line of the 140.6 mile Triathlon. These tech shirts are given only to those that finish the Ultra distance Triathlon. This reward is limited to just one because only one is given to each finisher.

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    0 backers Limited (1 left of 1)

    n addition to everything in the $100 dollar tier and below, you will get something truly one of a kind. I will send you the finisher's hat that I am given upon completion of the 140.6 mile Triathlon. This reward is limited to just one because the bib and race number is made uniquely for each participant.

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    In addition to everything in the $100 dollar tier and below, you will get something truly one of a kind. I will send you my race bib (the race number you wear during the Triathlon). This reward is limited to just one because the bib and race number is made uniquely for each participant.

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    In addition to everything in the $100 dollar tier and below, you will get something truly one of a kind. I will send you my finisher's medal - the most iconic piece of hardware from a race for any Triathlete.

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Funding period

- (45 days)