Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Why I Tri

I’m probably the slowest, fattest triathlete you’ll ever meet. OK, truth.... I’ve completed one triathlon and I wasn’t last. So I guess I can’t be the slowest. And I’m really just a little fat. So, there. But really... why would a 47 year old, short, pudgy woman want to do this to herself?

It’s not about the race. It’s about the community of athletes. It’s about seeing myself as part of that community. It’s about personal improvement. More power to you people actually racing. But I’m not one of you. I’d be perfectly happy if a group of like-minded people decided to swim, then bike, then run one fine, sunny day. And if we waited for the slowest person to finish and if we discussed our children, grandchildren and life partners -or lack thereof- on the run, that would be great, too.

Operating on the principle that we become more efficient at the things we practice, the group would gradually improve en masse. But we’d also respect the fact that, on any given day, a different person might be feeling strong and could draft us on the bike ride. Today it might be me. Tomorrow it could be you.

Perhaps I’m a dilettante. I’m far from insulted by that claim. Today I’m doing things I couldn’t do a year ago. Next year at this time, I’ll be doing still more new things. I might be faster at this running business. Or perhaps I’ll have added diving or figure skating or I’ll have mastered the third series of ashtanga yoga (highly unlikely, since I haven’t mastered the first) or taken up sky-diving (even less likely)..

We are beautifully and mysteriously made. We are capable of so much more than we think.

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