28 June 2015

Why I Did My Triathlon

Charles wrote about the general day of the triathlon.  But now I want to tell you the back story of my triathlon.  Prepare yourself for a grand, life changing story... (sorry no major weight loss pictures)

I have never been athletic.  I have never hidden that fact.  It was just who I was.  I had never believed that I could ever be athletic.  A few months back, around the beginning of March, Charles convinced me that we should get gym memberships so that we could go on more dates (to the gym), but at a lower cost.  The main reason is because his back and core needed strengthening.  And it would also provide the kids with an opportunity to get out of the house and be with other little kids.  I consented, rather reluctantly.  After a few times of going I was rather enjoying myself.

I was fairly proud of myself for actually going and working out.  I was mostly riding the stationary bikes.  After about two weeks of going I got the crazy idea that I should do a triathlon.  I still hadn't really swam hardcore in the pool and still had never touched the treadmill.  I hated running.  I was literally scared of it.  I couldn't run at any sort of slow pace for more than half a minute.

When I told Charles about my crazy hairbrain idea he could hardly believe that his un-athletic wife had come up with something so not like herself.  I honestly don't know why I decided to do it.  I have always looked at people who do races to simply beat their prior times as ridiculous.  Why would you pay money for someone to time you when you could go out and do it by yourself and time yourself.  I think possibly one of the reasons I latched onto the idea was to give myself a goal to focus on in my life.  I wanted to break out of just being a mommy.  I wanted to find myself, a new part of myself.  Four years ago I was overdue with Charlie and since his birth my life has been directed toward the kids most of the time.

But once I latched onto the idea of the triathlon I had a greater drive and motivation.  I hopped on the treadmill with a determination to actually learn to run.  I started swimming with a determination to learn how to swim properly with my face in the water.  I googled every problem that I was encountering.  I googled how to learn to run.  How to breath while swimming.  How to kick properly.  How to change a bike tire.  I wanted to know everything.

As I was looking around for a triathlon in the area I realized that most were on Sunday and the few that were not on Sunday were in Philly, Pittsburgh, or New Jersey.  With Philly being the closest I was drawn to that, but the date of the race was sooner that I wanted.  I didn't think I would be ready in time.  And then I remembered a story about my Grandma Hatch when she was learning to play the recorder and wanted to play in church.  It motivated me to do it even if I didn't feel 100% prepared.

While on my journey of training for the triathlon Charles' cousin, Stephanie, ran the Boston Marathon and posted about her journey to accomplishing it.  She said that ten years prior she couldn't run a mile and a half.  I thought to myself, "Annette, if Stephi can go from that to a marathon, I can learn to run, too."  Every time I got on the treadmill I thought of Stephi running her marathon.

Through all of my googling I came across something that said something along the lines about just starting the race, you don't even have to finish.  If you even start the race you will have done more than not starting it.  It gave me a new perspective.  I would be fine with simply starting the race.  If my body gave out and I couldn't continue that would be fine.  I still accomplished more than I had before.  I gave my best effort.

When I crossed the finish line my body was really at the end of it's line, well, at least my legs.  My arms were still fine since the swim was cancelled.  I was so happy to have done it.  I thoroughly enjoyed having finished my triathlon, or at least 2/3rds of a triathlon as the case was.  I am still very un-athletic and have a long way to go.  But I want to continue.  I want to do it again and maybe again and again.  I want to keep my body healthy and strong.  I still don't really enjoy working out as much as a lot of people at the gym.  I don't really like getting sweaty and stinky.  But I like having a body that can run, bike, and swim.  I often think about an emergency situation.  Could I run/bike/swim if I had to save my life?  Can I go the distance to save myself?  Heavenly Father gave me this body and I need to take care of it.  I can accomplish goals and do hard things beyond my comfort zone.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Props! Good for you! ~Nathan