The 405 Freeway, today at 6:30. On the way to swim coaching...
If you're like me, the decision to try a triathlon was pretty simply motivated. Maybe it just sounded fun. Maybe it was a way to put yourself to the test. Maybe it was a dare.
And if you're like me, it didn't take long before the motivation became a little more complex. By many measures, my first race was a disaster. Except it wasn't, because I finished. And by finishing, a switch went off inside me. For the first time in a long time, I started down a very significant new road.
Many years ago someone told me to stop worrying all the time, because things have a way of working themselves out. I liked the sentiment, but didn't trust the source. This "sage" man was a guy who would go to the swap meet to buy a book, and pick a Danielle Steel novel over a Robert Ludlum novel just because it was a nickel cheaper. There is no problem with being frugal, but this struck struck me as a little weird. So I took his advice with a grain of salt. More importantly, I wasn't ready listen.
But it turns out he was right. Like how I now try to approach most things, I approach triathlon with an active passiveness. Though I tend to be meticulous in training and educating myself about the sport, I also realize that life works best when I'm a leaf floating down a stream - I'm going somewhere, but I'm not sure where. I'm just happy to be floating along.
The stream is getting wider. I'm constantly amazed, perhaps daily, what a positive impact triathlon has. It's easy to measure the direct impact that the 1, 2 or more hours we all train everyday. Mileage increases. Speed increases. Fitness increases. But what about the other 22 hours of the day?
Training logs don't address these hours. But I would guess all of us have experienced benefits from this lifestyle that where never contemplated at the beginning of the journey. For me it's being more engaged. I'm excited about things again. And if you don't mind me saying, I'm pretty darn proud of myself for getting my health back. The best part? I made out like a bandit, because it was fun. Globally, the benefits are endless. I think this is a sport where anyone can find what they are looking for if they work at it.
All of us come from different backgrounds and athletic abilities. By reading your blogs, it's clear that many of your are much more gifted athletes that I am. But hardly any of the blogs focus solely on training or racing. Training and racing may be a key component, but it's always reported with a lot of depth. I learn from that. Also, we all share parts from the other "22 hours" of our day. I learn even more from that. In fact, I would suggest that this part of the equation is the great equalizer that makes this community so vibrant.
I welcome the opportunity to be in this community. Never in my wildest dreams did I expect that such a support system came standard with this lifestyle. And it goes beyond the blogs - it's pretty much everywhere. People helping people simply because we all know we are involved in something special.
I bought some swim goggles, a bike and a pair of running shoes because I thought it sounded pretty cool to see what it would be like to swim a quarter mile, bike 9 miles and run 3. That was a well intentioned idea. I had no idea how great the consequences would be.