day twenty-five: learning from a triathlon

I got up at 6 this morning and drove south an hour to Yuba Lake in order to watch three friends who were working together as teammates in a triathlon. I stood on the boat ramp waiting for my best friend, Luann, to climb out of the water after swimming her half-mile so that I could quickly hand her her glasses as she ran past. She needed to run up the cement ramp and connect with Lisa, who was waiting for the time chip that was held in a small velcro band. Once Lu peeled it off her ankle Lisa strapped it onto her own and then did a running mount onto her bike for a twelve-mile ride. She returned in good time and passed the band onto Christie who then ran her 5k final section of the race.

Months ago they had assessed their own strenths and divided up the contest. Each woman methodically trained to contribute her best today. Mornings at the pool, on the bike, and at the track preparing to give their best when it mattered. It wasn't that they thought they were going to win some huge cash prize or anything. They were interested in competing against themselves. Turns out they each beat their best training time. Cool, huh?

I like to compete. It feels good to get that surge of adrenaline and to push myself. But here's the thing. I would like to better train myself to be prepared for things that matter. I would like to figure out what my leg of the race is and then do my best for the team.

photo by Christie Poulson

And I would rather not wear a wetsuit, thanks.


Anonymous | September 13, 2009 at 7:10 AM

I am right there with you on the wetsuit. ;)

Barbaloot | September 13, 2009 at 10:18 AM

I'd rather not go from wearing a wet-suit to riding a bike! Triathletes are crazy/amazing.

Kimberly Vanderhorst | September 13, 2009 at 1:27 PM

That last line made me giggle. The rest of the post was deeply thought-provoking for me though. I need to mull that over for a bit.

April | September 13, 2009 at 1:48 PM

I am learning to be a team player. My family is teaching me this. It's hard, but rewarding. I am NOT interested in doing a triathlon. Not in a million years. Your friends rock!

Heather | September 13, 2009 at 1:54 PM

Were you being metaphorical in the second to the last line? I have thought about doing a race or something for a long time now, but then I keep getting pregnant. I know that pregnant ladies do these things too, but I just wouldn't want to put the baby at risk. And then after the baby is born, I don't have enough time to train. Then I think it is just not my season in life for athletic competition.

Connie | September 13, 2009 at 5:12 PM

You accomplished something that day by getting up so early to be with them! Did you secretly wish you were participating in one of the legs of the race? I think I would have - except for the swimming - wet suit or not. My team mates would hate me by the time I finished "doggy paddling" for a half mile!

Unknown | September 13, 2009 at 5:46 PM

You're an awesome friend for supporting them! Beautiful sunrise pic!

Erin | September 13, 2009 at 8:53 PM

I am glad you like to compete. I don't! But the whole thing sounds amazing.

Luann | September 14, 2009 at 9:20 AM

You made a long drive for a very short show. It meant a lot to have you waiting for me, glasses in hand, at the end of my swim. You are the best.

I would rather not wear a wetsuit either, but even worse than being photographed in possibly my worst possible look would be freezing and cramping my way through the race. I guess I took one for the team? :)

Next year instead of doing just the swim, I want to do the whole tri. Lot's of work to do before I'm ready...

Dedee | September 15, 2009 at 12:13 PM

I love the post. And I'm with you on the wetsuit, although that's probably the leg I'd be best at. I'm not a good runner and I'm an even worse cyclist.

LisAway | September 26, 2009 at 12:02 AM

You're a great friend and cheerleader. I love your analogy. I often feel like I don't do anything for any team. I guess I just have to remember that right now my family is my team and try to figure out how I can improve my performance in our joint race.