Go ahead: play it safe, only do things within your comfort zone, minimize risk and don’t expose yourself to the possibility for failure, don’t take on more than you can chew, stay well within your limits and don’t push yourself, and just concede that there are many things you are not capable of and shouldn’t try.
But is that truly “living?”
It sounds more like just getting by or biding your time or living in a rut. Maybe there’s more to you than you think, maybe there’s more to life than you’ve yet experienced, and maybe you have it in you to do things you never dreamed possible.
My First Triathlon
In my first triathlon, despite all my training and top physical condition, I panicked during the open water swim.
I had made the mistake of doing virtually no open water training, and it freaked me out. My chest got tight, my breathing was a struggle, sighting was difficult, others were passing me, and I kept remembering I was in the middle of a deep lake! I contemplated quitting. I saw another struggling competitor swim over to a canoe for relief, and so the opportunity to stop was available. Honestly, I’m not a big risk-taker type person, and so stopping in this kind of scenario would be the kind of thing I ordinarily would do.
Instead, I decided to face the challenge. I flipped over on my back to float and calm myself down. I reminded myself of having swum much further than this distance in my training. So my plan was to focus on my swim technique, sight the best way I could, and just do it. And I did! It wasn’t pretty, and I didn’t set any swim records but neither was I the last one out of the water. I finished! I faced my fear, pushed myself, overcame adversity, handled a demanding and stressful situation, and accomplished my goal. I had it in me!
Triathlons Will Change Your Life
Here’s the first reason why you will be glad you finished your first triathlon: The person coming out of the water will not be the same one who went in. After completing the swim, doing the bike, and running across the finish line, it will be a different you. Maybe it is not so much a “different" you, but a part of you that has only now been awakened.
If you are at the starting line of wanting to do a triathlon, here are a few suggestions and useful resources to get you started:
Go watch a triathlon in your area. You can find a triathlon near you at Active.com.
Browse through the pages of Triathlete Magazine.
Read the book, The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Triathlon Training.
I’m over 40 years old, but I don’t give up easily. It wasn’t too long ago that I was exploring the idea of doing my first triathlon. If I can do it, you can too! I'm proof that with a little determination and training, you can get a great deal of fulfillment participating in marathons, triathlons… even ultramarathons.