Lately, I’ve found myself wondering about the triathlon. I’m astonished. I don’t know where this is coming from. I have a couple of friends who have gone the tri route, but until this very moment, I’ve never even had an itch for it. Yet I find myself imagining donning a wetsuit and naming a bike! What’s come over me??? I don’t feel like its something I should do or that it’s time for some expected next step – no peer pressure whatsoever. I love running – the ease of it, the thrill of it, the peace from it. Thinking about adding two additional components to it both excites me and scares the GU out of me!
Some of the things that excite me about the triathlon –
- Something new…period. (OK, and I’m slightly excited about being body marked. There, I said it.)
- A new degree of competitive intensity
- An opportunity to conquer some fears (detailed below in the ‘what scares the GU out of me’ section)
Some of the things that scare the GU out of me –
- The swim – everything about it!
- Going fast on the bike
- Any kind of equipment issue on the bike
- The training time commitment
The good news about the ‘scary stuff’ is that it’s mostly trainable. While I don’t have a pool or access to one presently, there are bodies of water very local to my home. While I’ve never swam an "official" lap in my life, I have friends and family who I can 100% depend on to help and support me in this, the scariest part of the triathlon. Same goes for the bike equipment issues that are a normal part of riding a bike. The fear of riding the bike at greater than 5 mph or of getting thrashed among a mass of swimmers can only be squashed through practice, experience, and thus, confidence.
I also realize that most triathletes have a leg of the triathlon that they must work at. For me, running would be the most natural part. Secondly, other than my equipment/repair ignorance, the bike would be the next most natural part. The swim is the hold out. The swim is what keeps me respectfully creeping others’ triathlon race reports (the good, bad, and the ugly) without having one of my own to report. I also realize that most, if not all, triathletes (or any athlete training for their sport) struggle with time management – fitting it all in while attempting to keep a balance.
So here I sit, contemplating a possible flirtation with the triathlon. I honestly don’t know where this will lead me – if anywhere past this blog entry! Although I am currently training solely for my 9th marathon, I know it’s never too early to consider a strategy for conquering some of the fears listed above. Conquering fears leads to a greater confidence in whatever you do. This belief helped me conquer my fear/uncertainty of returning to school for my Bachelor’s, then again when I thought I would never return for my Master’s, and yet again, when I thought I would never be able to run a marathon….
Never say never.
Any triathletes out there have any words of wisdom? How did YOU start?