You should do a triathlon this year. That’s my professional opinion. Sure, we’re a few days late in to your new years resolutions, but you should do it anyways. Add it to your list and make it happen. This year. 2012. Do it.
Why Should You Do A Triathlon?
Personally, triathlon has been one of the most helpful things I’ve ever done and I’m not exaggerating when I say that. It’s what started me on this impossible journey and the one activity that’s shown me there’s always something beyond what your own personal limitations tell you is possible.
The first time I dipped my toes in the water of my first race, I had no idea what I was doing. But, I did it anyways and it’s the thing that’s changed the way I think about what’s possible and what’s not. I might be a little biased, but I really do think you should do it this year. Here’s 5 good reasons why:
You Probably Haven’t Done A Triathlon Before
Have you? Didn’t think so.
If you’ve done one already, can you go farther?
There’s Someone Worse Looking Than You Doing One
There’s this stereotype that the only people who do triathlons are tall, young, strong, people will hairless chests and shaved legs on $5,000 bikes with more money than God and a body to match. Triathlons are only meant for people who rival Lance Armstrong, Michael Phelps and Zeus.
I told you who I saw doing a triathlon, you wouldn’t believe me, but I’m gonna try anyways. Some of the people I distinctly remember seeing at a race.
- A 250 pound 40+ year old woman in a one-piece (for the entire race!).
- An 80 year very hairy man, wheezing throughout his running portion, sounding like he was going to die any second, and embarassing people decades younger than him.
- A 6 year old kid (Dang. What was I doing at 6 years old? Watching bad cartoons?)
That’s just a few of the people I’ve seen (and that’s not even including the 52 year old woman who peed herself in the middle of the race). So if you’re worried about looking bad in your spandex – DON’T – so is EVERYONE else. Everyone else is entirely way too concerned with how they look in spandex or the fact that they’re about to drown that they don’t have the time or energy to notice you in a field of athletes who are all wearing the same type of outfit.
It’s Multifunctional (and entertaining)
This is actually the reason I started doing triathlon. When I finished competing in team sports, I knew I had to do something to stay competitive, challenge myself and keep in shape. Otherwise, I knew I would balloon up and channel all my energy into watching whatever new show was on TV – not a good option.
At first thought I should do a marathon (everyone does marathons, right?), but I brushed that off immediately because I knew I sucked at running and 26.2 miles was way too long of a distance to do something I sucked at (oops). So, being the bright person that I am, I decided to do a triathlon instead. Of course, in triathlon I knew I sucked at running, biking AND swimming, but I figured if I had to suck during the entirety of an activity, the least I could do was switch up the types of activities in which I was sucking at – if for no other reason than it would keep me from getting bored.
And it works. Triathlons are much more interesting than marathons because you’re always doing something different. But triathlons have another side effect to this multi-functional training as well. In addition to keeping you entertained throughout the race, having to do different movements means you have to have your whole body in shape. You can’t just focus on your legs and forget your arms, or you’ll drown during the swim. If all you do is swim, then you’ll end up swearing more than usual when you do brick workouts and have to start running after you get off your bike. Triathlon forces you to get your whole body in shape…which leads us to the next point.
There’s Someone Better Looking Than You Doing One
Eye candy. There I said.
If you were concerned from earlier about being in the midst of a bunch of scary looking people in spandex, don’t worry, there are good looking triathletes. Actually loads of ‘em.
Swim, Bike, Run.
Do all of that, you’re going to look pretty good if you keep it up. I’ll be the first to admit that some endurance athletes tend to look a little emaciated and aren’t necessarily the best reflection of healthy out there, but triathletes are different. When you have to exercise your whole body, your whole body gets in shape.
I’m a huge fan of functional fitness – the idea that purpose of fitness is to be allow you to do things, not just look good. When you’re functionally fit, you’re not only going to be able to do lots of things, but you’re going to look good – even if it’s not the skinny, skinny, skinny pictures that the models in the magazines say you should be (you shouldn’t). So it should go without saying that if you’re going to have to test your limits and do something you’ve never done before, it helps to be surrounded by some functionally fit eye candy to keep you motivated to keep going.
(And no, I’m not contradicting myself by saying there are good looking and normal looking people that run triathlons. Most people are normal, so there’s people that fall on either side of the spectrum. If you actually go to a race, you’ll be surprised at the wide variety of people that compete).
It’s Not Impossible
It really is not. It’s one of the fastest growing sports in the US and there’s a reason why. You can do it – if you want to. Lots of other people: older, fatter, more ignorant, less skilled, hairier people have done it.
When I started, I didn’t know anything about triathlons. I didn’t know anyone who did triathlons. Heck, I didn’t even know what all activities a triathlon consisted of. I thought it was impossible that I’d ever find out any of the answers to those questions and But I jumped in and I did it.
Because I wanted to do it and I got tired of assuming it was impossible without every trying it.
One More Reason
Maybe those 5 reasons still aren’t good enough for you. You’re still not convinced. You still have questions. You still have doubts. You’re still not sure you can do it. I still think you can.
So I’m writing a guide for you.
The first ever Impossible HQ guide – Impossible Tri. It’s designed to get you off your butt, decimate any and all excuses you might have for not running a triathlon, get you over your fear of committment to doing one and have you sign up for and complete your first triathlon in the next 6 months. You probably can do in less time, but just in case you need the time, you got six months.
Unlike most products, this is going to be based around action. DOING SOMETHING and making the next few seemingly impossible things you do, a little less impossible starting with a triathlon. In fact, I’m going to try and actively discourage people who won’t take action from even reading it. Vicarious living and inspirational cocaine is one of the most dangerous drugs to get hooked on and I’m doing what I can to prevent you from just getting hooked on reading about other people’s stories and move you to writing your own.
That’s about all I’ll say on it for now, since I need to put my head in the sand and get to work, but if you have any questions on a triathlon, why you should do it, or things you’re confused on, let me know in the comments or in the league. Not only will I incorporate them into the guide, but I’m bringing in real people and stories, just like me and you to show that running a triathlon isn’t impossible along with triathlete experts to shatter any excuses you might have into tiny little pieces. BOOM.
Commit to it. Do a triathlon in 2012.