Why Not Tri?

Posted Jul 8 2011, 8:40 am in , , , , , , ,

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?

Clearly she's proud to be a triathlete. As she should be.

Why not?

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.

How about you? Have you done a triathlon? What pushes you?



19 responses to “Why Not Tri?”

  1. Good luck! I’m tired just thinking about it, LOL

    I love challenges too. What pushes me are goals and stubbornness.

    Great blog!

    • Elena Aitken says:

      thanks for stopping by. I also have the stubbornness push. Nobody, and I mean, nobody is going to tell me I can’t do something!
      Thanks for the comment and the good luck. I can always use that!

  2. Good for you Elena! Running is not my ‘thing’ but I have a lot of respect for people who do it. My daughter-in-law is training for a marathon right now. Now ask me to hike 20km and I’m there!

    • Elena Aitken says:

      Hiking is wicked! We live so close to the mountains I’d really like to do some more hiking with the kids. I don’t think they’re up for any 20kms (not sure I am either).
      And a marathon…may be my next years goal…
      thanks for stopping by!

  3. Barbara says:

    Great post. I haven’t done a tri, but do love challenges as well. I’ll also sign myself up stuff as a push.

    • Elena Aitken says:

      Thanks for stopping by, Barbara.
      Challenging myself is what makes my little world go round. Nice to know I’m not the only one.

  4. Author Kristen Lamb says:

    I am a terrible swimmer. I look like someone threw a goat in the pool. I also hate to run. If you see me running, look for the ax murderer that is following me. But, despite all of this, I do want to do a triathalon…one day. When I become rich off my writing and can live somewhere with better weather. In Texas, your biggest fear is falling of your bike and knocking yourself out…and then no one finds you and you cook to death :D.

    Great post and good luck!

    • Elena Aitken says:

      A goat, huh? Interesting image!
      I used to hate running, had never been on a road bike and considered swimming to be wading into the lake up to my waist. A triathlon is an awesome goal and totally doable.
      And something makes me think it won’t be long until you’re rick off your writing. 😉
      Thanks so much for the comment!

  5. Naomi Bulger says:

    You’re absolutely right. I read “triathlon” and think “I could never do that.” But as with most things in life, starting small and working up to it seems to be the key. I could WALK five kilometres, next step, run…

    • Elena Aitken says:

      Absolutely, Naomi! You have to start small. When I first started running it was more walking and wheezing than anything else. I still have a long way to go, but it’s all about progress.
      Great attitude. Thanks for the comment.

  6. Lori Dyan says:

    I committed to a tri 2 yrs ago when I turned 39. I couldn’t swim, didn’t own a bike, and ran like an 80yr old man. My goal was to not barf or pass out…and I didn’t do either of those things. #WIN

    Good luck, toots – I know you’ll rock both of them.

    • Elena Aitken says:

      Yay you for doing a tri!
      It’s an awesome sense of accomplishment and i hear ya about not barfing or passing out.

      First one down…it wasn’t totally pretty. But I did it. Olympic on the horizon for next Sunday… (there may be barfing in that one)

  7. Susan Kelly says:

    Hey, Elena! I’m just north of you in Cochrane! Small world. Do you know Lee Kvern?

    Your blog looks great!

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