So why do you swim, bike and run? Why do you tri?
Have you ever sat down and thought about why you like this sport so much. What is it about triathlon that makes you so passionate in the embrace of this jealous mistress? Here are a few reasons why I believe that she completely owns so many hearts.
On demand lives
Modern life has become simpler, easier and more convenient. There are very few basic necessities that most of us can’t have at any given time of day or night. Are you bored? Just rent a movie or watch it on demand anytime of day or night. Are you hungry? Well Taco Bell is now open 24/7 as are 4000 thousand other restaurants. Are you cold or hot? Turn up or down the thermostat and go back to your taco while watching the latest Hollywood blockbuster.
But in just case you are getting a bit bored with all this convenience, there is nothing like triathlon to add a bit of adventure and spice to your everyday life. Because no matter how much you may want it, you won’t be able to get up tomorrow and cover 140.6 miles. You won’t be able to do it without a lot of struggle and sacrifice. Indeed you’ll most likely have to change your diet, your schedule, your priorities, your mentality and your body before you can even think about showing up at the starting line.
But I suspect the real secret that many triathletes will eagerly share is that a simpler, easier and more convenient life…is by no means a better life.
Can you keep a secret? Yes, well the reason that I don’t eat these fries is because I’m in training for my next race. It’s a secret that I tend to keep to myself, close to me heart and it keeps me smiling and it makes me feel special inside as I look around the restaurant. Sure I want the fries but I want a PB in my next race more.
Life has a way of kicking you when you are down…and there’s precious little that you can do about it. How do you really battle a tumor or a genetic flaw or a virus or a your best friends diabetes? How do you really fight the good fight when you don’t have the tools, skill, knowledge or experience? How do you control the uncontrollable?
You control what little you can and hope and pray for the rest. You get up in the morning and dedicate yourself to climb this mountain or that, for yourself or for your friend or your family.
Why? Because you do have these tools, skill, knowledge and you can get the experience to impose some manner of direct control over this particular mountain. And you hope that you’ve brought some hope, strength and joy to this particular day in your life. And perhaps set an example that you can follow for tomorrow’s tomorrow when you know that life will again kick you when you are most down.
The muscle contracts because a signal from the brain traveled down a nerve in a fraction of second. The muscle remembers this move because it has done it time and time again. Indeed it has worked in close harmony with countless other muscles and nerves and arteries and blood cells to propel the body forward. The heart pumps and all over the body hundreds of thousands of miniscule chemical reactions separate and combine atoms and create the energy needed for just this one muscle to move.
It all comes together is a symphony of motion and movement. A perfect balance of fluid dynamics that puts a huge smile on my face as the sweat runs down my nose. This is what it feels like to be completely alive. As my heart pounds in my chest, and my lungs struggle for every atom of air, I know that I have been blessed to be able to use this body to its fullest and best ability. I know the joy of living because I see and feel it in wonderful glorious sweaty Technicolor.
The Agony of Defeat
How do you cheat the death? You can’t, but you can certainly keep it waiting while you go on with your life. The secret is going on with your life.
Because life after all is my suicide mission so that’s why I will live it like I know and believe this to be true. I will embrace it for all the joy and pain that it has to offer. I will find my mountains and climb them for myself my friends, and family.
I will seek out that which is hard and avoid that which is easy. I will forget the convenient and embrace the struggle. I will take joy in this body that God created so perfectly. I will use this body to the fullest of its potential while God allows me to have the strength and will to do so. And I will keep this an open secret next to my heart. But I will gladly share it with anybody who asks for I always prefer to run with a buddy than run alone
This is why I swim, bike and run. Why do you tri?