I’m curious. How did you get here? One day you are a normal person treating your body like you have a spare and then suddenly here you are, reading a Triathlon website when you should be working on those darn TPS reports. You suddenly care about your FTP and Lactate Threshold. You may be wearing compression socks under your work clothes. What has this journey been like? What was your trigger? What brought you to triathlon’s doorstep?
Hemingway wrote, “I suppose if a man has something once, always something of it remains.” It’s a phrase of lament. What used to be. A prior polish rubbed off over time. Mr. Hemingway used it in reference to lost bravery. Still it is hopeful. After all, somewhere, deep down, that shiny heroism remains. Just waiting for an opportunity to push through to the surface. To be what once was, again.
This weeks little article isn’t necessarily aimed at you young pups. It’s probably going to hit home more for our older readership. You probably need to be over 30 to really have felt this decay. It happens to us all. One day we are young and vibrant and invincible. Before we know it that polish has rubbed off. We are more seasoned. Not quite as quick and that feeling of invincibility has eroded. But don’t let the wrinkles and swollen tummy fool ya, we are still brave, still capable. Our fast may not be the same as it was when we were a teenager, but the feeling that going fast produces is even more sweet. More rewarding.
Life is a funny muddled mess. Personally, I was never an elite at anything. My fast was never FAST. Still, I enjoyed sports as a younger man and even had varying levels of success. High School was full of blue ribbons and gold medals, but strictly on a local level. I enjoyed being a big (ok medium) sized fish in a small pond. My hero’s were Dave Scott, Mark Allen, Bob Kennedy, and Carl Lewis. I dreamt of the Olympics and Kona. They both seemed equally magnificent and equally unattainable to me. Still I tried my best. Challenged myself. Improved. Earned a scholarship. Then I went to college (a small NAIA school in Indiana) and witnessed a Kenyan run for the first time. Impossibly thin legs, high calves. Arms held high swinging back and forth with the rhythm of a metronome. Effortless. My dreams were crushed. Even though I could never properly put what I had just witnessed into words, I came to one immediate and crushing realization. I would never be that good at anything in my life. So those dreams of athletic glory were replaced with more earthly, attainable goals. I graduated, got a job, got married, had kids, got divorced, drank too much, got married again, drank more, and got divorced again. To be honest, the drinking was the only thing I really excelled at during this time. Life was woefully incomplete. Something was missing. I was 36 years old and out of shape. I would get out of breath walking up stairs. Then a thought came to me out of nowhere. I’m tired of this life. It’s not what I want. It’s never what I wanted. So began my second life as an athlete. Much slower than before. My running weight was 135-140 lbs. when I was younger. At 36 I weighed over 220 lbs. Now I am 42 and that “something” that once was has definitely remained.
So enough about me, what about you? What brought you back to athletics? Did you ever leave? Did you have prior Triathlon experience or is this your first time in the sport? Has this sport helped you overcome something bad in your life? Vote in the poll and discuss in the forum!!! TRS Triathlon wants to know!!!