Mul­ti­ple world record holder vis­its ALA


Amer­i­can Lead­er­ship Academy in Span­ish Fork was ex­tremely for­tu­nate to have a very spe­cial guest speaker come to an as­sem­bly on Tues­day, Feb. 23. His name is James Lawrence. You may know him as the “Iron Cow­boy.”

He smashed the Gui­ness World Record in 2012 for com­pet­ing in and fin­ish­ing the most Iron Man Triathlons in one year. That record was 30. But he was not done.

For most of us, just run­ning a marathon seems like an in­cred­i­ble ac­com­plish­ment. An Iron Man Triathlon con­sists of swim­ming 2.4 miles (the equiv­a­lent of 10 laps around a 400 me­ter track), ped­al­ing your bike for 112 miles (from here to Cache Val­ley) and then run­ning a marathon, 26.2 miles.

Prin­ci­pal Shad Stevens said, “James Lawrence of­ten gets $10,000 or more per speech, but be­cause of our con­nec­tions he came for ... well, some­what less than that.” Con­nec­tions in­deed. Stevens spent a few days last sum­mer driv­ing the Iron Cow­boy to some of his lat­est record-set­ting triathlons. Yes, it was a sum­mer that prob­a­bly set the bar for the most amaz­ing phys­i­cal ac­com­plish­ment ever achieved by a hu­man be­ing. It turns out that af­ter com­plet­ing 30 such triathlons in a sin­gle year in 2012, James Lawrence asked his wife Patty if he was done. He felt like he still had not tested the lim­its of his en­durance. And for some rea­son, his wife agreed to a goal that seems in­sane to even re­peat: 50 triathlons in 50 con­sec­u­tive days in 50 states. Last sum­mer, James Lawrence achieved that su­per­hu­man goal. “His pre­sen­ta­tion re­ally cap­ti­vated the stu­dents,” said Stephanie Chin­gas, cheer­leader coach at ALA. “It made them re­al­ize they can face their fears and achieve in­cred­i­ble goals in their lives.”

Overcoming in­sur­mount­able odds and fac­ing your fears was the main theme of the pre­sen­ta­tion. Said James Lawrence, “Just be em­pow­ered to do that hard thing in your life ... how­ever low you are, wher­ever you are, there’s some­one out there that loves you and there’s some­one out there that can sup­port you and there’s a way to climb out of it.”

James Lawrence, known for fin­ish­ing the most Iron Man Triathlons in one year, vis­ited Amer­i­can Lead­er­ship Academy in Span­ish Fork in Fe­bru­ary.

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