The most important buckets in my life are family, mental and physical fitness and friends. This is wrapped in philosophy of spiritual endeavor and adding value to those I interact with via the Four Agreements. 1- Be impeccable with your word 2- Don’t take anything personally 3- Don’t make assumptions 4- Always do your best. (The Four Agreements - Ruiz)
Triathlon supports these mainstays of my life. To me being a good triathlete or endurance athlete is about the whole person. I was lucky enough to be chosen for the Rev3AG Team and their support of the athlete and their family is in a direct alignment with the values of my family. I also need to acknowledge that I like being on a team. If it weren’t for the Rev3 AG Team I wouldn’t be so passionate about Triathlon. They bring the same verve and dedication to the sport that my Sailing Family did as I was growing up. The sponsors Rev3 brings to the table are tremendous too - that took a lot of "hard" decision making out of the equation for me when awesome products and solutions are delivered to your door on almost a monthly basis how can an Athlete go wrong!?
Staying committed is probably the “easiest” part. I approach each day with the attitude that 100% is a different effort every day. Some days just hitting the trainer is 100% other days pushing the sprints in the pool after 2000yds is 100%. The physical and mental boundary expansion is as much a treat as it is intimidating. But at the end of every day I acknowledge myself for putting in the effort and as long as I feel I’ve put in that day’s 100% I will push new frontiers and stay balanced. In the spirit of transparency, I do have a coach 6 months of the year and that helps me gauge effort levels in the off season. :)
The great thing about triathlon is I learn more and more not only about myself but also incremental success. I am attracted to spaces where the façade of the rapidity of technology is debunked often and with an exclamation point. Being a triathlete spits in the eye of instantaneous accomplishment. I get to compete against myself in every training session and event. I move the needle based on my goals and the quiet success of achievement is something I carry close. Sure I’ve gotten stuck on plateaus and had weeks of frustration either due to being sick or feeling as though I’m not moving closer to a goal. And, therein lies the beauty of any endurance sport – not just triathlon – once those weeks of discipline are behind you they are wells of strength to dip into. We all know it’s not the little things in life that derail us it’s the switchbacks that are unexpected and the blind turns where we have to slow down and reconsider each shift of the wheel and rubble on the road to avoid skidding out. My dad used to say “little corrections all the time.” But this takes time, the ability to endure and dig a little deeper for the light and success becomes paramount to a fulfilling and meaningful trove of life experiences.
Part of what keeps me going back is the consistent fulfillment to be myself. Training, racing planning – these are all daily reminders that this thing is PERSONAL. :) It helps me command my own limitations more freely. For instance, sadly, life has left a lasting mark to always have a reserve tank and no matter how many times I mentally run through “what’s the worst thing that can happen.” I always leave a little in the tank. On the up side, I’ve moved on from waiting for the next shoe to drop and one day I’ll blow the reserve tank and open up a whole new level of freedom in which to live life. The most spectacular part of this is if you can fully embrace it, you have the ability to empower others to be themselves too and I think there is no greater gift to another human being.
On a lighter note – I’m easily bored – the intensity and complexity of the multisport is intriguing. I have no desire to do a marathon per se but I’m hopeful for a full 140.6 in 2016. Also, the planner in me likes that this stuff is planned out to a T. I like that it’s a multi-year objective too. So I hope this gives some insight into what the beginning stages of Triathlon looked like for me and encourages a hopeful to dip their toe in - its a lot like they say about snorkeling versus scuba diving, the former is like looking at the outside of the circus tent while the latter is being inside where all the action is!