It has been five years since this crazy journey started for me.
I had started running to lose weight. On one run a friend of mine asked me what other activities I like to do. I said I like to bicycle; I like to swim…..she then interrupted me by telling me that I should try to do a triathlon. I proceeded to look into it and discovered we had a triathlon club in our town. It didn’t take me long to join and the rest is what they say history.
I discovered early in my quest to get fit that just running became quite tedious for me. Being a heavyweight did not make matters any easier. When I was able to bike one day, swim the next and then run the following day all of a sudden the variety created enthusiasm within.
I started signing up for smaller, local races and discovered a lot of like minded people who had great sense camaraderie. I was and still am not the fastest, but that did not seem to matter. What mattered was that I participated, did my best, and had fun. Enjoying the process is just as fun and as rewarding as the outcome.
As I got fitter and learned more about the sport I proceeded to do longer distance races. I got more involved in the sport by volunteering whenever I could and still do. For all the help I have received in events that I have participated in, it is a way to pay back or better yet, pay it forward.
I also became a student of the sport. By reading and by listening I have learned so much. The biggest lesson has been that I have so much more to learn. This is where the sport of triathlon mimics life so well. It is about goal setting, training, racing, nutrition, recovery and patience.
But most of all it is about participating, falling down and then getting up. It is about making the mistakes and learning from them. It is about the struggle and the trudging. It is about the sweat and the tears. It is about the outcome and eventually the accomplishment of the victory over self.
Leave no doubt, it is not easy, nor should it be. Neither is life, but the sweetness of the rewards, as in life, are immeasurable.
So I say to you why not triathlon?
5 X Ironman and counting……..
USAT Florida Region Council Board Member