Tomorrow morning I’ll be kicking off the weekend by participating in the Okotoks sprint triathlon. It’s the first one of the season for me, which makes it sound like I do a lot of them (I really don’t), in fact, I’ll only be participating in one more this season. It’s not a secret that I love races, and no, it’s not because I like to win, because if you’ve ever seen me participate, you’ll realize that winning isn’t even on the radar!
But I do like the challenge. Over at WordBitches, I blogged about accountability with writing. And I feel the same way in other areas of life too. There’s a fine line between ‘talking‘ about doing something and ‘doing‘ it. For me, I’ll talk a lot about going for a run or a ride, or better yet, a swim. But if I’m signed up to participate in a triathlon or a race of some sort, you can bet I’ll be out training because once I’m committed…
That’s just how my brain works. I need a goal, a reason if you will, to get out the door. So why triathlons?
No, seriously, when I was young there was an Olympic length triathlon held in Invermere where I spent my summers. I loved it. I remember listening to the ‘adults’ talk about how maybe if they split it up, they might be able to complete it as a team. Of course, fun in the sun and the beach always won out, but it didn’t stop them from talking about who could do what activity. I remember thinking, ‘Wow! That would be so cool.” And in the same breath, “Wow! That would be so hard. There’s no way I could ever do that.”
Fast forward a few (okay, a lot) of years.
Four years ago, in an effort to lose some weight and get in shape, I, along with a few friends, decided to take part in the Okotoks Sprint Triathlon as a team. At the time, the 5km run I had to do was daunting. But I practiced, trained and it wasn’t pretty, but I did it. As a team…we did it! Afterwards I remember thinking, I could do this. I could really do this. It was a great feeling, but not as great as the following year when I completed it alone as my first individual triathlon.
Did I win? Um…no. But for me, completing it was a win. Remember, only a year before, the 5 km was a challenge. My childhood memories of the Invermere triathlon kept popping up in my head. But I wasn’t ready to go it alone. Yet.
After completing my ‘goal’ race as a team for the last few years. This year, I
think know I’m ready and in a few weeks, will be participating in the Invermere Olympic length triathlon. I won’t win, hell, I won’t come close. But for me, just doing it is a win because I’m proving to myself that I can do it. Something I once thought was an unreachable goal.
So, back to my question. Why not tri? With so many different lengths of triathlons, there’s something for everyone. A race for everyone to push themselves, prove to themselves that they can do it. And hey…doesn’t matter what the distance is, finishing earns you the right to call yourself a triathlete. And that alone is pretty cool.