I'm doing a triathlon.
It's in less than a month and I'm loving getting ready for it.
Prior to the past few years, I'd bike much more than I'd drive. When at Ohio State, I'd be on my Jamis Ventura non-stop. It actually stayed in my office on campus as I'd go and lecture and then I'd take it out for a long spin. We were, to quote one of my OSU pals, "joined at the hip." And they were right. We were. As a matter of fact, I biked everywhere and only drove sparingly and only if I really had to, like when I had to drive to a conference out-of-state or shop for big stuff. And I loved the feeling of freedom that the bike gave me.
Driving, while I enjoy it immensely as well as it takes me faster from Place A to Place B than biking or walking, doesn't have the desired side effect of fitness.
So, combining biking with my love of swimming which I've had opportunity to re-visit the past month, was a sure way to lead me to signing up for a Triathlon.
The one thing that's proven to be the most challenging is the discipline around timing. This summer I am giving myself time and permission to indulge and do something that is entirely for me. And doing a triathlon is not a prerequisite for anything else other than it's something that I want to do for myself.
And at first it felt weird to do something that's entirely for me and, fundamentally, for fun. But after a good week, it seems to have become a habit. Who knew it feels pretty good to do stuff just for yourself. Maybe I'll build more on this tradition and keep adding more activities of this nature.
I keep my custom-made bike right next to my iMac. I find that it helps to keep me on-task and motivated when I can see it as opposed to parking it next to my car where it would be out of sight most of the day. This way, it beckons. This way it says, "oy, don't forget to take me out for a spin. Remember than the biking portion of the triathlon is 40k and I need to be taken out regularly."
What I'm especially liking about the preparatory phase of a triathlon is the feeling of achievement and structure that it gives you. It's hard at times to self-propel and the surest way to do so is by creating a system in which, with time, it becomes easy to force yourself to be kept on-schedule. Couple this with my penchant for numbers and measuring and I seem to have gotten myself a good thing.
And a triathlon by definition is comprised of a number of different activities, i.e., three: Swimming-Biking-Running and, as a result, it's a surer way to keep one focused, on-point, and most importantly outside the grip of boredom. And the latter, for someone like me, is a real problem. The more varied the experience, the better.
Ergo, so far, I'm completely boredom-free. I'm thoroughly enjoying the preparatory phase, and my body is thanking me daily. Who knew I'd deprived it of so much attention! Now, it and I seem to be on the up and up and we're friends again. Good. Now the goal is to finish the race. And with my loved ones here to cheer me on how can I not do what I do and finish? Exactly. I'll do what I do. And I will finish. 25 days to go. Let's wrap this up in style!