I feel inspired to share on a topic which has been such a powerful part of both my personal and professional life. While initially afraid of coming across as boastful or self promoting, I realized I could possibly help others by sharing something which I feel has been such a powerful force in my life. I started competing in Triathlons roughly three years ago. Even though I am of average athletic ability and in most cases within the bottom 3rd of the finishers, I have found that competing in triathlons provides rewards that are much greater than a winning finishing time.
What attracts me to this sport and why do I keep doing it? I asked myself this question many times during the hours I spent swimming, biking, and running for my most recent race (Wildflower 70.3). Training for a half-ironman (70.3) is a big commitment, requiring time away from the family, early morning workouts, rushed meals, longs hours spent in solitude, and general exhaustion at times. Couple this with maintaining a highly demanding career and an active family and the reasons to keep doing it seem to be outweighed by the challenges. But I find myself continuing to sign up. Why?
Here are some reasons on why I keep doing it.
- Mental – Time spent alone in training helps me work through problems and stress in my life. The overall process is meditative and provides a sense of clarity to my problems. I often come back from a run and write notes on some of the solutions to problems I had brewing.
- Health and fitness – Having a TRI on the calendar forces me out of bed on a cold morning to train. There is nothing like a deadline to ensure I meet my goals. It also forces me to second guess what I eat or at least think twice.
- Leadership – As an admired professor at Pepperdine (Dr. Wayne Strom) once told me, good leadership starts with “the leader”, this translates to investments in myself, which maps directly to my team and how I support them.
- Commitment – Sign-up, train, and follow-through, illustrates to my Children and people around me that we don’t quit in life and we do the hard things.
- Grit and tenacity – Beaten down, bloody, exhausted, but continuing to fight demonstrates a primary tenant in life, which has been a key area of success in my life.
- Effectiveness – This follows the old saying “If you want something done, give it to the busy man”. Time is precious, so use it as wisely and efficiently as possible.
These benefits are translated back to my everyday life, enabling me to face and overcome the difficulties that appear. My Baseball coach taught me, “It’s not about about winning; it’s about fighting when things get hard and seem insurmountable.” There have been many races where I experience moments of raw emotion, which feels like pure happiness. I’ve found that all this training and pain gives me an appreciation feeling of “Life” and truly how good it is–something I have discovered can only be obtained by fighting for it.
When people ask me, “How do I prepare for a Triathlon?,” I always respond “Sign up!” The minute you sign up, you begin to prepare, and things fall into place. You set a date (which will not change), you paid for it (committed) and there is a world of information (preparation) on how to train for your upcoming event.
You gotta TRI.
In 2015 the goals are:
2014 – 2:06
2015 – 1:58
2016 – 2:08 (need to confirm)
2017 – 2:06
5/20/17 – Ventura Breathe of life Triathlon -Total distance – (swim – .93 mile, Bike – 24.8 miles, Run – 6.2 miles)
2014 – 2:44
2015 – 3:11
2016 – 2:57
2017 – 3:03
2015 – 7:36:30
2016 – I did not compete
8/27/16 – Santa Barbara Triathlon – Total distance – 45 miles (swim – 1 mile, Bike – 34 miles, Run – 10 miles)
2014 – 4:15
2015 – 4:37
2016 – 4:31
9/18/16 – Malibu Nautica Triathlon – Relay team (Swim) .5 Mile (placed 22 out of 66)
2014 – 20:06
2015 – 17:14
2016 – 19:12
9/18/16 – Carpinteria Triathlon – Olympic Distance – (Swim – 1 miles, Bike – 25 miles, Run – 6.2 miles)
2015 – Did not race
2016 – 3:18
Total Triathlons (updated end of 2016)
Olympic – 9
Long Course – 4
Half Ironman – 1
Half Marathon – 4
Total TRI (Olympic or Long) = 13
History is referenced on links on the side