Monday, November 2, 2009

The Art of Triathlon

I've been realizing lately what a journey triathlon is. I've grown a lot as a person these last 3-4 years as I undertook the journey. It's not really what I expected. But I like it.

I read a couple of interesting articles that really resonated with me today. Usually you figure things out, but you can really make sense of them for a long time. Things just click. I had already accepted what these articles were expressing, but reading them in well thought out words means a lot. My favorite quote from an article about what racing means when you approach it like an art:
Out of sheer necessity, the demanding challenge of a long-distance race motivates us to bring heart and brain into balance and cooperation to accomplish our goal. Along the way, we gain grace, wisdom and long-term vision that carry over into our participation in the human race. We begin to realize that we are either all winners or all losers. It’s not how fast we get to the finish line of life or whom we beat on the way; it’s how graceful, harmonious and efficient we are on our journey. This is what brings us enduring happiness and genuine satisfaction.

Can it be that simple? At least for me the act of testing myself has always been how I learned. I know that some people are different, but I think that undertaking great things, whether you succeed or don't, win or lose, is how you achieve greatness. And it just so happens that training, and competing in triathlons (and all the swim, bike and run events on the side :) ) has the nice little side effect of making you eat well, sleep well, live well, and maybe just be well.

In all reality I decided to do an ironman 3 years ago when a friend of mine lotteried in to kona. He trained some, and had done triathlon for a while, but basically completed the event on will. I was impressed, because as a long time swimmer, runner, and hardcore musician I knew how mentally tough it was to perform under pressure, ESPECIALLY when you are not really ready. As I count down 27 days to my first ironman at the end of this month in Cozumel, I'm reminded of a quote I read recently in another great article from about some of the toughest people who have done an ironman:

Experience is a harsh teacher -- she gives the test before she gives the lesson - and once in a while we need a reminder that toeing the start line at Ironman isn't an automatic ticket to a lifetime of bragging rights.

Just cause I start doesn't mean I will finish. A LOT of people don't. I'm looking forward to the experience.

1 comment:

Mark Barnett said...

Nice post. Maybe I should do something more active than getting up from my computer and walking to the coffee machine.