Saturday, October 29, 2005

Steve Hansen - The Successful Triathlete

Steve Hansen, who is now training for next weekend’s Ironman Florida has been a great friend and training partner for the last several years. A friendship initially forged when he was a board member for, transitioned as he became a very encouraging swim-bike-or-run-with-me-now-friend when Steve left the board room and decided to become an athlete.

When chatting about Ironman, he commented, “There’s nothing better than identifying your personal boundaries and having the courage and commitment to face them and push past them. You get that satisfaction from training for and completing an Ironman.”

Steve’s a family man - the father of two boys who inadvertently led him to triathlon. While watching his kids’ swim practice, he was invited to race by some of the team moms who decided to enter the Long Beach Tri. “I had totally blown off the initial invitation until about six weeks before race day when I saw the moms again at swim practice, looking pretty fit. When they asked me how my training was coming, I knew I was in deep trouble – that’s when I called Mitch,” he said. Unfortunately, just three days before his first race, Steve had a nasty training accident and needed surgery (a titanium bar and 5 screws) to repair a badly broken wrist. “On race day, I went down to T1, cast and all, and spent two hours watching what was supposed to be MY first race! At that point I knew I need to do a triathlon, broken wrist or not.”

Steve is someone comfortable operating in chaos and he was very influential in keeping me fit as business tornados touched down in my life through constant goading to ride or swim. “Come on man, get out there.” He would say.

“I watched you do the Honu Half over Memorial Day,” said Steve. “I was that fat guy drinking a mai-tai, cheering on all the super fit athletes suffering on the course and after that experience I knew I needed to put down the mai-tai (and fork), get into shape and finally do an Ironman.”

Two weeks ago when Steve found out there was a hurricane on the way to Florida he replied, “I don't care if I have to bike through downed palm fronds, and electric wires, or even if they cancel the race. I've been training for this and I'm going to do the course if they hold the race or not!”

Steve’s business and life accomplishments are extensive. He is currently a partner in a private equity firm, was previously the CEO of a successful software company, COO of an internet company he took public and sold to Yahoo! for $5 billion and before that worked for Universal Studios. So go ahead and add triathlon to Steve’s list of successful endeavors.

There is a big box on his TO DO list next to the word Ironman, and he’s got the pen ready to check it off.

When asked about goals Steve replied, “Hey, I just want to enjoy the day and drink in every second of it…finishing is enough. You only do your first Ironman once.”

He said it best when I asked him why tri? He commented, “I have always been stimulated by doing things that are just really hard. I’ve been fortunate enough in business to solve some really tough problems and get fulfillment from that challenge. This is different it’s not an intellectual problem it’s a mental and physical problem - it’s my personal Mount Everest.” Wonder if he knows that 1 out of 10 people that summit Everest don’t survive?

Steve's just arrived in Panama City - and wanted to offer a newby's perspective on Ironman Florida. Check out awesome blog, click here ---->