Wow…I just realized that I did my first triathlon seven years ago this week at the annual Danskin Sprint Triathlon in 2002. I had a lot to do to prepare myself for this mysterious event that involved three different sports and zero changes in clothes. What do I wear? More importantly, how do I swim ½ mile and whose bike will I borrow? Triathlon was (and continues to be) a fascinating sport of several details and intricacies. Fortunately, I had some friends to help along the way. We went and picked out my first road bike, which I then proceeded to turn into a 30lb racing machine complete with a pump, tri bars and heavy pedals. Hell, I thought the point was to buy as much gear as possible, not make it as light as possible! Little did I know… I then went to cheer on a friend who was racing in a tri just so I could see how the process worked. No, he didn’t get naked in each transition (damn!). With every day, I was uncovering some mysteries of triathlon.
That first sprint race I completed was exhilarating and nauseating all at the same time! There were moments when I literally had no idea what was going on in my body. Seven years later, I’m very in-tune to any “signal” I receive, but at the time, I had no idea that getting the chills on the bike even though it was 90 degrees meant that I was getting dehydrated. I learned my nutrition lesson after I had to dismount for a few minutes and gather my senses. I finished that race and received my first triathlon medal. I was a triathlete. The Danskin slogan couldn’t be any more appropriate. “The woman who starts the race isn’t the same woman who finishes.”
As every triathlete knows, you are hooked as soon as you finish your first race and you learn something new with every new event. I have a sense of self-confidence and discipline that didn’t exist before. I have a “different” outlook on life than most. An “outlook” that says, “You can change for the better. You can overcome seemingly impossible obstacles. Pain is part of life. It’s how you handle that pain that separates you from most.” It also turns people into obsessive compulsive overachievers (for better or worse!) That attitude has certainly transformed into every aspect of my life both personally and professionally. If I have a goal…a vision…a dream…I’m going to figure out how to get there from doing comedy, to finishing an Ironman, to getting sponsored, to becoming vegan, to becoming a published author. Anything is possible. Truly. When you truly believe, it becomes easy to achieve.
So, I’m honored to thank Brian “Triboomer” Brode and Staley Krause from the amazing website Mindset Triathlon for selecting my “The Last Hour” essay to be published in a triathlon anthology book called “The Meaning of Triathlon.” This anthology of 15 essays, written by every day triathletes, is about humans doing what they were meant to do. In these pages, you’ll read why these triathletes love their sport. They are the men and women you meet every day. Some of the authors have regular jobs and some are retired. Some of them are barely out of school and some are grandparents. They are the fast one and they are the not-so-fast one, but they all compete from start to finish just the same. Order your downloadable copy today for just $4.99 HERE.
If you’re like me (and I know many are), I’m always searching for inspiration, tools, education and advice in this wonderfully complex sport. Mindset Triathlon is your home to order thousands of titles on the subject we know and love!
I figured after Ironman Coeur D’Alene, we’ll have so much free time that we’ll actually be able to stay awake and read some books! Might as well be about triathlon to keep us inspired for the next one!