October 18, 2007
I read a great article by Steve Jonas in the current issue of USA Triathlon Life, the official publication of the USAT. The title was "Why a Good Story Matters". It was about his individual triathlon experiences and stories. It got me thinking about why I do Tri and the special memories that I have. Steve explained that he can't remember every race he's ever done but there are certain races that stand out. Everyone has their own reasons why they do triathlon. For me there are many reasons: great way to stay in shape, sense of accomplishment, the pain (HA HA), etc. But the overall best reason is simply: I just enjoy it! There are so many memories and so many more to come. If my injuries don't slow me down, who knows, maybe I will keep going until I'm 70.
My first Tri is a great one because my mantra was: how hard can the swim be! I hardly trained and when I got 500 yards out from shore and had to resort to swimming on my side, I found out quick. Needless to say that was a rude awakening to the sport. But when I finished, I was hooked. My first half ironman was memorable. It was an enormous high to finish the Eagleman in 2002. I had a very bad sunburn afterwards and my race number was tattooed to my arm for about 1 year. No joke! I've done 5 more Eagleman's since that day. My first and second Ironman finishes are the gems of the catalog. The first because I had a smile on my face the entire time. The second because I had pain on my face most of the run coupled with the dry heaves at Mile 10. But, oh to finish an Ironman is a magical moment. My last race is a showstopper too. Right there at the top. It was only a sprint but it was my 17 year old daughter's first. I'll never forget that one. It's a whole new dimension now.
Triathlon is a lot like life. It's more a journey than a race. Just start and just finish. The journey can have many highs and many lows. But we just have to work through them and keep pushing. There are so many memories that have been made and so many still to be made. Thank you Mr Jonas for reminding me of that.