I have been told many times and even here of late, that when I do something, I do it “199%” whole heartedly (I’m actually quoting a friend). So, being single and living alone, I can pretty much train all the time that I’m not at work. I’m very thankful for this fact about myself at this point in my life. I’m not saying that if I met someone I could not live without that I would push him away, but he would have to at least share this passion of mine, which I’m sure most people would agree with me on this. And when I say passion, I mean either running, cycling, or swimming, or all three would be a dream come true.
So, knowing this fact about me, if you are also on facebook, I’m sure you can see that I love what I do. Because I love it so much, I want everybody to feel the same way I do because I think they are missing out on something so wonderful. And because I feel this way, I push my fellow running friends too hard sometimes in asking them “What did you do last night? What’s your next race? What do you mean ‘you can’t run because blah blah blah’?” So, sometimes, I have to step back and try to understand that their lives may have different priorities than mine does. They are at a different point in their life than I am and they may not have the luxury of doing all that I do while I don’t have the luxury of going home to a family. I’m not writing a sob story, I’m just giving you a preface of what’s been on my mind lately.
When I finished my first triathlon a month ago, I did my best and loved every minute of it and fell in love with triathlons. I truly am a triathlon at heart now. After I finish my first marathon in October, my plan is to focus on my triathlons next year. So, April through about September of 2013, I will be doing tri’s more and focusing on all three sports. I truly love all three and feel that they complement each other.
During my first triathlon, my swimming was my weakest sport. I knew this going in. If you haven’t really swam your entire life except for fun at the pool and beach, you know that swimming for sport is a different ball game altogether. I can swim, but my technique needed work and going any reasonable competitive distance, I knew that I needed help. But, I knew enough and practiced enough to finish 250 yards. My cycling was good too, but running was my strongest point as it is my primary sport.
After my tri was finished, I got the “tri bug.” I wanted to sign up for my next one when I walked in my front door from finishing my first one. But, my primary goal this year is my marathon. Triathlons were a fun “extra” at first, but that has changed, obviously. So, I just started incorporating swimming and cycling in my marathon training schedule. Cross training on the other two sports can really help to prevent injuries and help in recovery after those long 20+ mile runs. So, I joined the triathlon group at my pool and I am now coached three times a week in my swimming. I have improved so much in the past month. Two months ago, I dreaded going to the pool, now I look forward to Monday, Tuesday and Thursdays after work.
My pleasure reading has also started to include other blogs about these sports; triathlons, in particular. I read one blog a few weeks ago which triggered this whole thought process. You have your runners. You have your cyclists. You have your swimmers. A good runner may have been running a while, started in college track and field, maybe. A good cyclist may have been riding a while, too. A good swimmer may tell you about their swim meet days growing up in the community pool. Not all have this story to tell, but a lot of them do.
So, this blog was about this one person’s opinion, and other readers were quick to agree and comment, of how one should stick to their primary sport if you are not good at all three sports. This writer was saying that at some of these sprint triathlons and even international distances, if the person was a runner, their swim left much to be desired and they pretty much muddled through it, and did fine on the cycling portion and of course, the running portion. The writer was bluntly saying that triathletes, in general, were people who were not really good at any of the sports and just did all three for fun. He was saying that the average triathlete, unless you’re an Ironman, of course, is not a good athlete. This is stereotyping, clearly.
(Blood boiling here)
First, this is the writer’s opinion, just as this is my opinion. Second, stereotyping is just that. Stereotyping. I know some runners do things on the road that give other runners a bad name, such as crossing the road and trying to beat a car when the light is clearly red. Just wait for the crosswalk light to come on, enjoy the breather, and then go. This practices safety and drivers will not give you dirty looks and hate runners even more. It’s that simple. But, because a few “bad” runners do this, it gives all runners a bad name and people stereotype us all.
Honestly, my first tri swim left much to be desired. But, Devil’s advocate: I had fun and I love what I do. But, I left that day wanting to train so hard until I reeked of chlorine and caught swimmer’s ear. I don’t want to settle for just doing triathlons to do them. I train to get better at what I do. I don’t half-do something. I want to give each race, training run, swim session and ride my best in order to get better at it. Sometimes, when leaving the pool, I feel like I accomplished nothing because I can’t seem to break a bad habit. Sometimes, I feel like if I did not PR in a 5k, that I’m just going backwards and I’ll never “place” in my age group. But, every time I get out there, I’m progressing. Simply because of the fact that I’m out there.
If you want to bring the Bible into it, when referring to mediocre or “luke warm” Christians, God pretty much says they make Him want to throw up. Mediocrity is not a place to settle. Train hard and work hard in order to get to that “impossible” goal. If your dreams don’t scare you, they’re not big enough. Believe me; I’m terrified of running 26.2 miles in a city hundreds of miles away from home. But, my want and passion is greater than my fear. My fear drives me sometimes. And sometimes, drives me crazy! Yes, because of this passion I have, I may have to miss going out with the girls on a Friday night or book club on a Tuesday night or the Saturday Morning Market downtown. But, it’s my passion and I want it. If you want something bad enough, you’ll make it happen, whatever it takes.
So, in the US Army’s words, “Be All That You Can Be.” In God’s words, “Do it heartily, as unto the Lord.” In Nike’s words, “Just Do It.” However you want to say it, find your passion and write your name on it so everyone can see.