Book Highlights: Iron War – Matt Fitzgerald



  • The experience purges emotion in a way that improves our human condition and clarifies our existence
  • By the end, I knew I wanted to do this again, I wanted to do it better, I wanted to do it harder, I wanted to be a tri geek
  • I was never thinking of the finish during the swim. During the bike, I was never thinking of the finish. Most of the time, I was just living in the moment.
  • Ignorance is bliss: I have friends now who do their first Ironman and they think too much and end up afraid of it.
  • Just to be able to take on this challenge I though was impossible and then to be able to do it makes me see myself in a way I’ve never seen myself before. The main difference between then and now is that it originally was an adventure. We didn’t know what we could do.
  • A bad day is when you’re walking in the marathon and you’re walking through town, and you see the paperboy and he’s delivering the paper with results of an event that you’re still in. That’s when you know you’re having a bad day.
  • It’s not how fast or how slow, it’s just are you present? Are you appreciating the fact that you have a healthy body that gives you the privilege of doing something like this?
  • I have always drawn tremendous comfort when others shared my delusions.
  • Each continues to run sub-six minute miles because each still believes the pain is worth the hope of winning
  • Dave believes you win by outworking your competition in training and out-suffering in races
  • One must soon break the other – in body, mind, and spirit.
  • Why play in a game in which his hard work counted for so little? The hardest worker should always win.
  • Dave just wasn’t Dave without the freedom to move
  • Dave – I wanted to see what I could do
  • Forget about athletic background, forget about swim, cycling, and run experience; my edge is mental. I can pound it out with anyone at the end. Nobody can outlast me.
  • The man was nothing, if not his own man
  • Mark had an unquenchable thirst to distinguish himself
  • The pleasure of suffering was completely intrinsic to the activity, whereas the satisfaction of swimming was largely contingent on winning
  • Certain he would never regret the risk he was taking. Indeed the thrill of the risk itself was worth the risk
  • Feeling pressured by others by time, by circumstances is just another feeling. The feeling causes you trouble when you believe you must respond to it or fight it or remove it. Just feel the pressure and continue doing what you need to do.

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