Mind Body ConnectionNutrition & FitnessOutdoor Fun

Life Is Good When You’re A Triathlete

Photo of author

By Jim P.

triathlete-entering-water-public-domain.jpg Ah, living the Tri life…

No, not the High Life but the TRI Life!

What is the “Tri Life?” Let me describe it.


The Tri Life Is An “I Can” Life.

Too many people are living an “I Can’t” life, which is telling yourself all the things you can’t do.

Every triathlete discovers they have a gear inside that enables them to endure challenges, setbacks, difficulty, and pain to achieve their goals and cross the finish line.

Once you find that gear, you discover you can use it in all aspects of your life. The Tri Life perspective of “I Can,” becomes a “You Can,” and “We Can” mentality, which is the kind of thinking that can change a life, transform a community, and inspire action, hope, compassion, and inspiration in the world.


The Tri Life Is A “Wellness” Life.

The word ‘wellness’ is generally used to mean a healthy balance of the mind, body, and spirit that results in an overall feeling of well-being.

Training and competing in triathlons stimulates mental, physical, and spiritual growth. In fact, all successful triathletes know that maintaining a strong balance of body, mind, and spirit is crucial to achieving one’s triathlon goals and objectives.

Because the Tri Life includes all the physical benefits of cross-training (swim, bike, run) and stretching, and makes healthy nutrition a top priority, triathletes are some of the most fit people on the planet.


The Tri Life Is A “Purposeful” Life.

Either you will determine the direction and focus of your own life, or there are plenty of people standing around who’d be happy to rope you into their version for your life.

When I started training and doing triathlons, I realized the need for a very intentional existence. There was no time or energy to waste, and I wanted to be sure that my best was being invested in the things that matter most to me. It meant learning to say “no” to a lot of other stuff.

My wife and daughter, my friendships, my vocation as an author, and my desire to live at a pace where I am free to enjoy the daily comings and goings of life are all important to me. Doing triathlons is part of the life I want to live, and it requires living each day purposefully.


How To Maintain A Good Life Balance

Here are a few suggestions based on my personal experience about maintaining a good life balance:

#1  Keep the communication lines open between you and your significant other(s).
There’s a reason why many professional athletes get divorced. The demands of professional sports and the amount of time athletes are away from home make it a challenge to maintain healthy intimate relationships. Likewise, the demands of triathlon training, and the time away from home in training or competing in events can create a similar scenario. Sure, it’s easy to say “drink, sleep, breath triathlon,” but what about your kids?! Talk it all through with the people you need to, and don’t turn a blind eye to how your decisions impact others around you. In other words, seek to have all the key people in your life on the same page but be willing to listen to what they have to say about what that page is.

#2  jim-pam-jessica.jpg Look for opportunities to make the Tri Life a shared experience. In my upcoming triathlon, my wife and daughter are going to serve as volunteers. Then the next triathlon is at a state park, and we are going to make a little family vacation out of it. Keep in mind that there are triathlons for kids, and triathlon relay events that could include your spouse and children, or friends. Our family recently watched a film together about the Hawaii Ironman, which tells the stories of several competitors. We often load up our bikes, and ride the local greenway together.

#3  Hold to your triathlon goals and dreams loosely. Life happens, and sometimes situations and circumstances redirect our life’s path temporarily or permanently. If something happens in your life that requires you to put your triathlon training on hold, so be it. If I learned tomorrow that my daughter had cancer, and it was necessary for me to cut back or cut out triathlon training and competitions, I would do so in a heartbeat. Sometimes an employment or vocational change of significance or a serious health issue can effect whether a person can realistically train and compete in triathlons.


Here’s What I’ve Discovered For Myself

love-photo-by-zoo-gal-on-flickr.jpg I only have one chance to live the life I now have.

In my final moments, I don’t think I’ll regret not having shaved off a few more seconds from my best triathlon race time. But I’m determined not to leave love left undone in this lifetime, and I want to be an instrument of love, peace, compassion, hope, inspiration, and freedom along the everyday paths of life. What matters most to me are things like my daughter knowing how much I love her, and being a force for good in this world.

I have a friend who often says, “It doesn’t matter what you’re doing; only what you’re being.” In other words, in all of life and everything you do, BE love, BE goodness, BE compassion, and then whatever you do will truly matter. Training and competing in triathlons is just one avenue of BEING. Whether you do 65 triathlons or you only do one, nothing can prevent you from embracing and living life’s deepest meaning.