hen James Lawrence was 28 years old, his wife, Sunny, challenged him to run a four-mile “fun” run. He struggled to even finish. Confident that her husband could do better, Sunny then signed James up for a full marathon. This time he was determined to make a better showing, and his career as an endurance athlete was born.
Nicknamed the Iron Cowboy for the cowboy hats his kids pick out for him each race, James’ accomplishments are impressive: world record holder for most half Ironman-distance races in one year with 22; world recorder holder for most Ironman-distance races in one year with 30; avid fundraiser and spokesperson for Quiet Way, a charitable foundation; Young Living brand ambassador; and loving husband and father of five.
But James is not stopping there. This summer the Iron Cowboy plans to saddle up for his latest seemingly impossible goal: 50 Ironman courses, in 50 states, in 50 days. What lifts him to such great heights? If you listen to James long enough, you’ll hear him use the word “conviction” a lot.
“I try to teach my kids that no goal is too big and that with enough conviction, even the impossible can become possible,” he says. “Somebody recently asked me if there is a plan B for 50-50-50. I was shocked! My mind just doesn’t work that way. The goal is 50-50-50. There is no plan B. You just have to have so much conviction that nothing will distract you from your goals. If your conviction is real, nothing can get in your way.”
James also knows that all the conviction in the world can’t help you if you don’t treat your body right, so he’s been using Young Living products since 1994. On a daily basis, James uses a variety of products such as NingXia Red®, Inner Defense™, and Ortho Sport®. During long training sessions or races, James supplements his nutrition with products such as Balance Complete™, Pure Protein Complete™, NingXia Nitro™, and Slique™ Bars.
“Young Living products are a permanent part of my training, competing, and my family life,” says James.
We wish James the best as he makes the impossible possible during his quest for 50-50-50 this summer!
How do you plan to put the Iron Cowboy’s tips to use in your fitness journey? Tell us about it in the comments!
Praying for James, that our Lord continue to give him strength, endurance and wisdom. Also for his family who stand by him – comfort and encourage them. Is there a site that shows James’ normal oil routine to his favorite Go-to’s?
I have always run only 1 marathon and 1 half-marathon a year. This year I’d like to change that. I’d like to run 2 of each. My first half will take place at the end of March with a Full happening in the early Fall. I half in November and a Full in December. I’d love to run both of these once a month, but my short-term goals will push me to my long-term dreams.
Just curious James, why not go for a wins at fewer events rather than a lot of events with no wins?
While you did not ask me the question, I’d like to comment. For me, winning is about obtaining my goals, no matter what is set before me. For some, winning may be outranking everyone for 1st place, while for others, it’s about completing what seems to be an impossible feat.
Josue- thanks for the comment. Winning is a lot of fun. I have 2 ultra distance wins and plenty of podiums. Sometimes it isn’t about the wins but the journey and the people you come across on that journey. Keep racing hard!
James wins every time he shows up for an event. He competes against his own mind and body instead of the athlete ahead. His records stand far and above what we even perceive as possible. That is winning.