Merriam-Webster defines an athlete as “a person who is trained or skilled in exercises, sports, or games requiring physical strength, agility, or stamina.” A triathlete is a person who possesses physical strength, agility, and stamina in three sequential events of varying distances. Swim. Bike. Run. What type of person belongs to this extraordinary group?
Today’s triathlete ranges from beginner to pro athlete, competing in distances ranging from sprint to Ironman™ and everything in between. I’m an amateur who has competed in every distance. I do small races and big ones. I love them all and became instantly addicted.
It all started about two and a half years ago, after the birth of my son. Although always athletic, I had never run more than 3 or 4 miles and never for longer than 2 or 3 months at a time. That is, until my sister said to me “Hey you want to do this triathlon?” At the time this seemed like an unobtainable goal. My son was 6 months old, and my fat ass was still trying to lose the 80 pounds I had gained during pregnancy. That being said, I never refuse a challenge.
My first race was a sprint distance race with an ocean swim at the Jersey Shore. I had no wet suit and my bike left much to be desired. In fact, I now have my son’s child seat on the back of that bike. My sister is a monster in the water, and kicked my ass. I gained some ground on the bike and then caught up to her on the run (which to this day is still where I gain all my ground). Refusing to be beaten, both of us sprinted to the finish and it is still up for debate who won. Since that day in August 2012 I have been hooked and immediately signed up for another race that season. My sister has not done one since. Clearly, that makes me the winner.
My life has changed since that day in so many ways. I will do any race you throw at me and will smile at the end of it (and usually request a beer or three). The friends I am now the closest with all train and compete. I will do anything to get a run in, and when I don’t run for a few days I feel like s***. Just like you, I juggle work, home, family, friends, and training. But I am a triathlete through and through. There is nothing I love more than having the physical strength, agility, and stamina to compete.
Welcome to my confessions. Stay tuned….