Why Not Tri?
I was never what I would consider an athlete in junior high, high school or college. I grew up in a time when women’s sports were just becoming popular and socially acceptable. My perception, and to some degree the view of the culture at the time where I attended school, was that it was only okay for women to be in sports if she was really good at the sport. Otherwise, it wasn’t considered that feminine. For some girls, pompons, cheerleading, or maybe volleyball and tennis were okay.
Looking back I regretted not trying competitive sports. The good news is that I did start to get into exercise and physical fitness towards the middle to end of high school. This carried on into my adult life.
Several years ago, I participated in a class offered at the Andover YMCA. The class was called, “Why Not Tri?” It was to teach people who had never done a triathlon to train and compete for an indoor sprint triathlon at the YMCA. The spirit triathlons are short and can be completed in less than an hour. They consist of swimming 20 laps, 6 miles on a stationary bike, and a 2 mile run.
As a group we met a couple of times a week for coaching, clinics, and group training. Each individual did the other four weekly workouts on his or her own. Doing my first sprint triathlon was truly invigorating. I was hooked. It also gave me a channel for athletic competition that I missed during my youth.
I know I was not alone in my enthusiasm with my first triathlon experience. Last weekend, I saw one of my old coaches when I was in the pool waiting to start my race. I was in the same heat and lane with a person from her current “Why Not Tri?” training group. To my right was a very quiet, focused, and a bit nervous gentleman competing, for what I believe, was his first triathlon.
I watched him complete the final laps of his run with family and friends cheering him on. I could see the pride and confidence that comes with having enough self-esteem to invest in oneself. I saw the humility necessary to be trained to learn new things. And I saw perseverance and the willingness to rely on something or someone bigger than yourself to get you through until the end.
Hmm…that kind of sounds a lot like what we are trying to do in our spiritual journey as Catholics in this thing called life.
The Catholic Women’s Guide to Healthy Relationships Tip: Set a goal big or small, get someone to help hold you accountable, and work with God each day to achieve it.