Ironman AWA Top 2%

Recently, I received a letter from Ironman that starts like this:

“Oleksandr, Congratulations! Your racing activity at IRONMAN and/or IRONMAN 70.3 events in 2023 positioned you in the top 2% of all athletes in your age group, earning you 2024 Gold All World Athlete status.”

In the top 2% of all athletes in my age group worldwide. Sounds great! But what does that truly mean? What does it tell about Me, as a person? While I am undoubtedly in excellent shape, I don’t consider myself inherently athletically gifted.

As I reflect, I realize that most of our personal characteristics are byproducts of something deeper—the core. But what exactly is this core? What fundamental element is foundational to this achievement? What should I focus on more and develop further?

For me, it boils down to one essential quality: the ability to get things done, regardless of circumstances. It’s about showing up consistently, methodically, day after day. No matter how I feel, where I am, or what challenges I face, I execute the plan to the best of my ability on the day. I don’t skip workouts; I set priorities and stick to them religiously. I determine what truly matters and eliminate distractions—those habits, time-wasters, or relationships that weaken me. 

Maintaining focus over months and years is crucial. Motivation, I’ve learned, is a finite resource—it is great to get us started, but it never lasts. Motivation burns strong and bright, but fast. So, I seek more reasons to continue than reasons to quit. Oh, how many times I stood at crossroads, questioning whether to keep going or give up.

Now, imagine meeting someone else in that top 2%—an amateur athlete who shares this achievement. What assumptions would I make?

  1. This person can stick with projects over extended periods. They won’t quit when faced with difficulties; they’re in it for the long haul.
  2. They possess an inner drive that can sustain them forward. An ability to find means to self-motivate. When life hits lows, they bounce back faster than most.
  3. This individual can immerse themselves wholeheartedly in something. They know what passion tastes like.
  4. They differentiate between noise and what truly matters. They are able to maintain focus for a long time.
  5. If we became friends, it’d be a unique bond—a love-hate friendship. Our competitive spirits would push each other to greater heights, however difficult it might be.

So, to my fellow top 2% athletes, wherever you are, let’s keep pushing, inspiring, and creating our own extraordinary paths. 🏃‍♂️🏊‍♂️🚴‍♂️

Oleksandr Tereshchuk