Surviving a triathlon – even when they said you wouldn’t

Sometimes you have to give credit where credit is due.

Yesterday I participated in a sprint triathlon.

Let me just put it out there, it wasn’t pretty.

I wore a fat-kid-at-the-beach tee shirt during the swim, mostly because I didn’t have the right tri outfit. You’re just not going to find me in one of those hi-tech wet suits, I fear that once on, the darn thing would never come off.

Due to some shoulder problems, I did the breast-stroke for the entire 1/3 mile swim. I was looking throughout the previous waves and knew that I was the ONLY one doing breast-stroke but you know what? It was enough to get me around those buoys to the finish of the swim (and apparently it was enough to keep me ahead of the snapping turtles that had been spotted in the lake the day before – pretty strong incentive to swim as quickly as I possibly could)

I strapped on my brace and then came the biking and remarkably, that proved to be the easiest part of the race. In previous tris I’ve had to actually walk up some hills this time I did not.  (there is a reason my name is not listed under the elite athletes column). 16 miles of rolling hills through some of the prettiest sections of our town, although not a breeze was certainly doable. I can do this, I said to myself as I used the momentum off the hills to coast. I can do this.

Last was the run. Let’s kid no one, although I had run track in high school and college, and even though at one point in my life I was training for running a marathon, my days of running are over. They are so over. I walked the run portion but I walked it with style.

Spurred on by my son, though, I gave it a go and I ended the race by actually running over the Finish line. I did, I was able to run again if only for a short distance. But I did it.

There are so many reasons why I was able to do this tri –

  • My personal cheering squad – Marc and the kids – Marc walked miles in order to get race photos. He also understood that I needed to drink water first at the end of the race before I hugged him in order to not pass out. And how lucky was I that my son was the one who handed me the race medal at the finish line.
  • My exercise buddy, Griffin – who finished the race and then walked it backward until he found me to encourage me on to the end.
  • The chickens – they got me up in the morning, they listened with cocked head while I ranted about the injustice of a surgery gone bad. They never saw me as compromised but only viewed me as someone who was bigger and stronger than they. Never once did they doubt my ability to fly.
  • My team of Physical Therapists – who unlike the caretakers of Humpty Dumpty have somehow been able to put me back together again and again. Even though they might not have agreed with my decision to participate in the tri, they only gave me nothing but support when they heard of my plans.
  • The “Hour a day or die” exercise challenge it got me up out of my chair. Guess that exercise did me a whole lot of good.
  • That “specialist” Sports Orthopedic Doctor – who told me that although as a Sports Doctor he didn’t normally tell patients this, he recommended that I no longer engage in sports because my leg was too bad. Thanks for the needed motivation to prove you wrong. Eat my dust, pal.

Yup, yesterday I participated in a triathlon. I didn’t come in first place, but I sure was a winner. Big time.



Filed under Challenges, New Hampshire, One Hour of Exercise a Day, One hour or die, Personal

5 responses to “Surviving a triathlon – even when they said you wouldn’t

  1. onyerbicycle

    To do all that AND retain your sense of humour. Thanks for the chuckles. Had a very similar experience to yours although it’s not recorded as eloquently. Feel free to have a laugh at my expense:
    Good luck with all future undertakings.

    • I did check out your story, it looks like you had great fun (even though it wasn’t easy).

      There are those who do this to come in first and then there are others (like me) who do this to just prove that we are still living.

      Congratulations for being vibrantly alive.


  2. Congrats! “In running, it doesn’t matter whether you come in first, in the middle of the pack, or last. You can say, ‘I have finished.’ There is a lot of satisfaction in that.”
    -Fred Lebow, New York City Marathon co-founder

    • Pete,

      Thanks for the encouraging words. There is tremendous satisfaction in knowing I showed up, competed, and ultimately succeeded.

      Good luck with your race, let me know how it goes.


  3. Pingback: Project Chickens before the Eggs – Lesson 100! – Lessons learned from a feathery flock « Simple Thrift – creative living on less

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