I was a swimmer my entire life. I was a collegiate swimmer; I went to Florida Atlantic University on a swimming scholarship and graduated in 2007. And then later … I qualified for the U.S. Olympic trials in 2008 and competed at that event. Fast forward multiple years, I do an annual bike trip with a friend. We start in Key Largo, [Fla.], and we ride our bikes straight down to Key West, which is 108 miles long, and we realized the Ironman bike ride is only 112. So, we signed up to do the Ironman.

For me mainly, it goes back to the structure of it and the way of life. I wake up at 4:30 every morning and I go to the gym. I feel as though if I can accomplish something hard for myself in the morning before my day turns on, before the email starts, before the phone calls start … my day is just better.

I enjoy the preparation more than I enjoy the event. The event to me is the reward for putting in the work, but I get the true enjoyment out of the long bike rides.

It teaches you to prioritize a lot. It teaches you to be ready to have a regimen in your life. It really comes to the point where you better be able to prioritize your time and make time for everything that’s important to you—[relationship time], family time and all that, too.

Lauren Borchart is an editorial assistant with Independent Banker.