No, not an alcoholic, a triathlete. But it is a problem that affects every aspect of my life. I wake up thinking about it, I spend all day focused on it, spend all my money on it, it’s even starting to affect my family. I worry that when my children grow up, they too will see what I have done, and become triathletes as well. And though my wife Kristi isn’t into the hard stuff like me, she’ll do a little cardio with me every now and then.
Now being a triathlete may not come as a surprise to anyone that knows me. For me, I really honestly didn’t realize it until yesterday. Let’s rewind to about a year ago when I was shopping at Tri-it multi sport in Calgary. On the clearance rack was a inexpensive, comfortable hoodie that across the chest was the words ‘Triathlete.” Had it said nothing, I would have bought it, but because it said ‘Triathlete” I couldn’t. Because in my mind I was not a triathlete. Fast forward to yesterday when I got a phone call from Rob, a friend I used to work with. We chit chatted about our lives and what is going on, and during this conversation I realized that the things I do all revolve around triathlon; (maybe :, maybe a comma?) Sleep, food, summer holidays, vacation, free time, and even what I spend my free cash flow on. I even have a website that I talk about triathlon, and now my mom has made shirts with my website and logo, because even she knows I am a triathlete. Everything pointsto the fact that I am, by definition, a triathlete.
Does this mean I get the password to the club? Does someone finally tell me the secret handshake? Or maybe it’s an addiction that I need to kick, and the first step was identifying that I have the addiction? Or maybe it’s something that I need to embrace to get better, and the next step to great improvement is to accept that I am a triathlete?
Most likely nothing changed excep that through my enjoyment of the sport I have unknowingly become a participant in it. But a part of me does sincerely hope that I have reached triathlon enlightenment, and triathlon Buddha is going to come and give me the password to the club and teach me the secret handshake. That would be wicked cool.
I will end this post with the story of why I am not entering the lottery to get to race in the world championships in Kona.
If I won the lottery and got a chance to compete in the world championships, I would have to go. It’s a once in a lifetime opportunity to say that I got to race in Kona with the best triathletes in the world. But if I won I would have to pay the $1000 entry fee. $3000 in flights. $1500 in hotels. $2000 in food and entertainment for the week while in Kona. $500 to fly my bike and kit back and forth. A total of $8000. Plus, one day I would get the pleasure of getting up at 3am, to eat and get down to the race, start at 6am, to swim 4 km in the ocean with sharks for 2 hours. Only to get on bike, and ride up a volcano for 180km, into the headwinds of the Pacific Ocean for 8 hours, to get off my bike and run up a volcano again for an entire 42.2km marathon, hoping to finish in 6 hours before midnight. A total of 16 hours of cardio and $8000 just so Mike Reilly can say “Clarke, you are an Ironman!”
This is when winning the lottery isn’t winning.
Except, if I won, I would HAVE to go. Which is why I didn’t enter.