Sugarland guitarist Thad Beaty hasn't spent his time being idle while the duo are off the road. In fact, the musician has been working hard -- not on music, but on training for the Ironman World Championship in Kona, Hawaii.

The musician, who completed his first Ironman competition in November of 2012, says he was propelled to become fit due to a series of tragic events.

"My journey to becoming an Ironman is not unlike so many others' out there," he explains. "It starts with a wake-up call. In my case, it was an actual call. I woke up one day while on the road to a call from my mom, saying, 'Hey, it's going to be okay, but I have colon cancer. Not long after that call, our dear friend, and longtime guitar tech, lost his life to lymphoma. That was my turning point, my inspiration that it was time to change."

Beaty, who admits he was 70 pounds overweight, battling both high blood pressure and high cholesterol at the time, used the news as an impetus to change his own health. In the process, he discovered the need for others to be encouraged to better their own lives as well.

"We started a foundation called Music That Moves, to rally the music community together, to effect change beyond the stage, and encourage people to change their own lives and the lives of others in their community," Beaty states. Still wanting to do more, he also became the spokesperson for Kona Inspired, which encourages others to reach for their biggest dreams as they approach the grueling competition.

"To me, that's what Kona Inspired is all about," Beaty notes. "It's a lifestyle that goes on long after race day. Kona Inpsired is beyond triathlon. It's a lifestyle that's selfless and giving and inspirational. It's how I want to live my life. And hopefully, by becoming an Ironman, you can inspire people to take on things they never thought they could achieve."

The Ironman World Championships in Kona include a 2.4-mile swim, a 112-mile bicycle ride and a 26.2-mile run, all without a break. But more importantly, Beaty hopes others will use the race as an opportunity to share how they have overcome personal obstacles.

Beaty is inviting fans to share their own story, for a chance to win a VIP package to the Kona competition in October. More information, including contest details, is available here.