I've had several conversations with a 3-time Ironman. In almost every one of these conversations, he has said he can totally see me completing an Ironman triathlon (2.4 mile swim, 112 mile bike, 26.2 mile run). I just don't see it! Yet at the same time, I don't think it's impossible per se, because I know I can commit to and train for a big race. It just takes time and a ton of dedication (delusion). Big problem though - I hate swimming!!! I can swim, I just do not enjoy it one bit. Then I asked...what is a ballpark time for the swim? 2 hours-ish. Do-able? Not right now. Possible? Sure, if I was willing to put in the time and effort.
No part of me wants to attempt the Ironman....not right now at least... It makes me wonder though, how and why we instill dreams in other people. I've certainly done it. I told the Ironman about Badwater. I've told my Indy roadtrip friend several times that I know with all certainty he can finish a full marathon. We complete a goal or event (or in the case of Badwater, read a book about it) then seem to transfer it other people, where the idea sits in the back of their brains, not inspiring real action, but not going away either. Then eventually after the idea has ruminated long enough, you start to think "What if..." which eventually becomes "How....?" Besides there's real confidence that comes from someone saying "I completed this really difficult event and I know you can do it!!!!!"
Will I attempt the Ironman? Probably not, but never say never. Multiple marathons were never on the agenda either. Stranger things have happened :)