Tri-Tri Again


So admittedly I am not an athlete.  I walk – fast – but I walk.  I’m not really sure what came over me when I announced in front of a group of women cancer survivors last February that I was going to do the Danskin Triathalon in 2012.  It felt great to make that statement.  And then fear creeped in.  This post is about that fear – recognizing it, acknowledging it, fighting it, and doing it over and over again.

I didn’t realize just how big a commitment a triathalon was when I went to the first group meeting in May 2012.  I was one of two newbies and sat next to a 70+ woman who does one a month.  Talk about intimidating.  Still, I felt I could do anything.  I made it through surgery and chemo – a triathalon should be a piece of cake!  Wrong idea number 1.


Wrong idea number 2 was thinking that my 20 year old Sears bike would be just fine for my 15 mile rides.  I wasn’t willing to spend a lot of money on something I wasn’t sure I was even going to make it through (fear is starting to creep in).  But biking was an incredible high.  I loved it and felt in control, except in traffic, on sharp curves, or steep hills.  But still … I made the commitment and bought a lighter bike.  Still not high end, but it made a difference to me.

Wrong idea number 3 was the one that almost put me over the edge.  Swimming.  I know how to swim.  I swim.  Just not very often and not very far.  Jumped in that lake in mid-June and swam out to the kayak and grabbed a float and went right back.  Made it one lap.  I thought okay, I can do this.  Tried it again.  Started having a hard time getting my breath.  Especially on Monday night swim practices and Saturday full practices.  After a month of total stress, I acknowledged that I was not going to make the swim.  Total relief.  No more pounding heart.  No more struggling to get my breath.  Just relief.

But I still wanted to do the triathlon.  Another training partner just found out she would not be able to run or bike due to injuries, so we partnered – she handled the swim and I did the bike and the run/walk.  I felt so powerful and alive when I crossed that finish line!  It didn’t matter that I ‘only’ did two of the events – I did it, I wasn’t last, I didn’t crash, I felt incredible!  And I committed to doing it again in 2013.  And this time, I would swim!

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