If you’ve been in Austin long enough, you’ve probably heard of David Garza. No, not the guitar strumming singer/songwriter David Garza (although he does live here too); we are talking about the always smiling, optimistic, and fitness enthusiast David Garza.

David is well known around here for his killer spin classes at LOVE cycling, epic training days, and triathlon racing. We recently caught up with David to hear about his recently completed 10th Ironman and to learn more about the mental side of triathlon racing.

5 Questions with David Garza    

What motivated you to do your first Ironman triathlon?
I was always looking to challenge myself. I always wanted to see what I could accomplish. I never was an endurance athlete, so when I first started to run I did a 5k, then a 10k, next was the half marathon and then on to the full  marathon. After that I got a bike and started to train for a triathlon. I did the Olympic distance first, and then the sprint (yea I know backwards, but if you ever see me come and chat about it, it’s a good story!) I did a couple more races and some half Ironman races and signed up for Ironman Cozumel!

I was so happy and excited when I signed up. Fast forward to a couple of days before the race and I was scared s#$%less!! Ironman takes you through a whole gamete of emotions. This I never knew until I completed one. I did the training and I coached myself, along with a good friend of mine doing her first Ironman as well. Luckily, I also had a great life coach to help with my mental strength.

Speaking of mental strength, how has training and racing Ironman changed you mentally?
I have grown stronger than I could have ever imagined mentally! I believe this is where I have grown the most. The mental fortitude that you have to have to go through is so demanding (not only during the race but during the many hours of training). I have embraced the journey to endure the challenges I face and can apply what I have learned in every aspect of my life.

And physically?
You know that’s a good question, I was the big kid in school and I have always struggled with my weight. At one point in my life I was close to 300lbs. Through the years I have transformed my body from a more power athlete (football, baseball, etc.) to this point in my life where I believe I am in the best shape of my life.

What keeps you going during the race when you think you are about to give up or give out?
One of my favorite quotes from the race goes like this, “It’s not if it’s going to hurt, it’s when!” So, I know it’s going to hurt, and sometimes really bad! Pain happens when you are challenging yourself or getting out of your comfort zone. Pain is also a good reminder that you are alive, because when you don’t feel any pain that’s when you should be concerned :).

I also think about the amazing people who supported me during the training. Sometimes I use my anger and the people that want to see me fail and not do well to push me too. So I guess I use that negative energy and change it to a positive vibe for me. When I have thoughts of quitting, I have to remind myself to keep moving, just keep moving forward!!

Tips for Ironman?
HAVE FUN and enjoy the journey. If you do it right, it will be one of the most amazing chapters in your life and it may turn into a lifestyle!?

Bonus question! Do you plan to go for #11?
I signed up for Ironman Cozumel this November, so yea baby! I am going for it!!!

“Pain is temporary, quitting is forever”
“Embrace the suck of it; it’s going to hurt so get something out of it!!!”

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