kids, triathlon

3 Nashville Area Kids Triathlons

1 Comment 18 July 2015

3 Nashville Area Kids Triathlons

Nashville is a great area for kids to learn triathlon, and if there’s a season for the sport, it’s August.  You’ve got three great options all around the city.  I’ve got girls who started at ages 4 and 5, who are now 8 & 9, and I’ve loved sharing the experience with them.

A kid who can do a triathlon can do anything!

Here’s a birds eye view of three triathlons.  If your child can swim bike and run, but you’re not sure about how to change from one to another, or “transition”, read my recent post about “Kids Triathlon Practice 101“.

Screen Shot 2015-07-18 at 8.30.36 AMSaturday, August 1– HEAT Kids Triathlon (Hendersonville)– The 6-10 year olds will swim a 50 yard pool swim, bike 2 miles, and run 1 mile.  11-15 year olds will swim 100 yards, bike 4 miles, and run 2 miles. $30 per child
Screen Shot 2015-07-18 at 8.24.57 AMSunday, August 16– BEAT Kids Triathlon (Nolensville) (this is the one my club is putting on, so it’s already my favorite)-
Ages 5-7: 50 yard swim, 2.5 mile bike, 0.7 mile run
Ages 8-11: 100 yard swim, 2.5 mile bike, 0.7 mile run
Ages 12-15: 150 yard swim, 4.8 mile bike, 1.5 mile run
Screen Shot 2015-07-18 at 8.32.05 AMSaturday, August 22– TRY BORO Kids Triathlon (Murfreesboro) Junior Division (7 to 10 years old): 100 yard swim – 2.4 mile bike – 0.5 mile run .
Senior Division (11 to 14 years old): 200 yard swim – 4.8 mile bike – 1 mile run.
http://www.tryborokidstri.org/triabout  $25 till 7/23; $30 after.
NOTE: If you plan on doing more than one triathlon in a year, sign up for a child’s membership for USAT.  You have to pay a $10 insurance fee for each event.  However, if you get a kids USAT membership ($15), that covers you for insurance.  Plus, you get the triathlon magazine subscription and a lot of discounts.

I hope you and your kids have a great time with triathlon this summer!

kids, triathlon

Kids Triathlon Practice 101

No Comments 13 July 2015

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Most kids love to swim, bike and run.  Triathlon is a natural step to combine these things, but sometimes people (mostly parents) are uncertain how to teach them how to transition from one discipline to another.  But the answer is simple- just add water.   I recently did this with my nieces and nephews (twin 12-year-olds, triplet 5-year-olds) with my daughters, kids triathlon veterans, helping out.  They absolutely loved it.

The order for 99% of the triathlons out there goes like this- first swim, then bike, then run.

Here are the basics for what you’ll need (please note, this is mostly focused for kids aged 5 to 12. Older kids doing longer distances may want to use adult tri tops and bottoms).

1. Swimsuit (most younger kids)
2. Goggles
3. Towel (any will do, but uniquely-colored beach towels are the best)
4. Bike
5. Socks (the shorter, the better with wet feet) and running shoes

As a parent, you’ll want to figure out a safe bike and run course, either a park or a cul de sac, or somewhere with little traffic.  I’ll also enlist and older kid or another adult to help make sure no one goes off course.

SET-UP – (before the race)
Screen shot 2015-07-13 at 3.39.19 PM

The set up is important.  At the event, there will be many towels laid out, so it’s best to use a beach towel or bike bath towel that’s a unique color or pattern.  This towel set up is directly beside the bike.

HELMET- Lay the helmet down with the straps out and untangled. Make sure your child can easily strap on his or her own helmet.  There are volunteers to help at the event, but it’s always quicker for a child to do their own.  I had my girls practice buckling and unbuckling their helmet when they were younger while sitting in front of the TV.

SOCKS- If your child normally wears socks, have them wear socks in the race.  I find it easier if you roll the top of the socks so you can easily slide them over your feet.

SHOES- Make sure shoes are unlaced or un-velcroed (is that a word)? You can also get zip-tie like laces or no-tie laces for $6-$10 of varying quality from Wal-mart for the cheap kind to your running/tri shop for the fancy kind.

SHIRT/SHORTS- Boys generally wear normal swim trunks for the whole thing.  Some put on a shirt before the bike or run.   Girls can add shorts and/or t-shirts before they put on their shoes.

SWIM to BIKE (“T1” or “Transition 1”)

For the “swim”, I’ll have my kids put on their goggles and spray them with the hose. They absolutely love this.  If you don’t have that handy, have them all stand close together and throw a bucket of water on them.

They then run over to their bike and transition towel.

-The helmet always goes on first.

-Have them practice drying off their feet on the towel and then putting on socks and shoes.  It’s fine to sit down to put on socks and shoes.

“Bike Line”- One thing kids need to know is that they can’t bike directly from their towel.  They’ll have to run their bike to the bike line before they can get on their bikes (this is so they don’t run over kids who are still putting on shoes). I’ll set up a bike line at the end of the drive way with a cone where they are allowed to mount their bike.

Then they’re off!  I won’t have them go too far, just down to the end of the street and back, or around the cul de sac.  If it’s a street, I’ll make sure an adult is at the other end to turn the kids around, and to give warning if there is any traffic.

When they finish, they’ll dismount at the Bike Line and run their bikes back to their towels.

BIKE to RUN (“T2” or “Transition 2”)

Since they already have their shoes on, this is a really simple transition.

Have them park their bikes, take off their helmet and place it on the towel.  Then can they run out.  I’ll usually have them do a short run around the cul de sac or down the street, again with another adult at the end for safety.

I’ll also have a water station on the road, where I teach them the “drink and dump” move.  This is THE highlight for the kids.

 

Basically, you set up a folding table on the sidewalk with a bunch of Dixie cups of water.  As the racer runs by, you take a drink, and then dump the water on your head, and throw down the cup (after the practice race is over, make sure to pick up the cups, of course.)  My nephews liked this part so much, they did the whole thing over again so they could ride their bikes over the cups.

Finish line

Cheering is a must.  Dust off that old boom box for some music. You can also throw water on them or anything else to celebrate their achievement, even in practice.  If you keep the distances short, you can repeat this, invite the neighbors to try it with you, and just have fun.  We love it.

I hope this helps you have some fun with your kids and get them (and you) prepared for their first or next triathlon.

Remember- a kid who can do a triathlon can do anything!

If you live in the Nashville area, make sure to sign your kids up for the BEAT Nolensville Kids Triathon on August 16– it’ll be awesome!

Other kids triathlons include the HEAT Kids Triathlon on August 1 in Hendersonville, and the TRY BORO Kids Triathlon on August 22.

cycling, running, triathlon

Comparing 4 Tennessee Olympic Triathlons

No Comments 05 June 2015

Screen Shot 2015-05-25 at 10.23.25 AM

Tennessee is home to a some great races, from sprints to iron distance.  With a love of triathlon but without the time to train for something longer, I’ve decided to race four of the biggest Olympic tris in the state.  In case you want to try one or all of them, here’s a lot at four of the biggest- Challenge Knoxville (formerly Rev3) in May, Chattanooga Waterfront in June, Music City in July, and Riverbluff (formerly Nashvegas) in August.  (Note: Memphis is May is a classic and an obvious 5th option- would have have made for a very cool 5 races Olympic logo symmetry- but with some changes going on with the race and location, it was hard to do course comparisons. Hopefully next year.)

To start, here they are by the basics and numbers, but I’ll also get into the background and a few stories for these great races.

SWIM

Knoxville- wetsuit-legal, 2/3 downriver
Chattanooga- generally non-wetsuit, 100% downriver
Music City- generally non-wetsuit, circle swim
Riverbluff- generally  non-wetsuit, circle swim
(note: wet-suit notes are based on general water temp)

BIKE

Knoxville- 1640 feet of climb, 1 cat 5 climb
Chattanooga Waterfront- 578 feet of climb, 1 cat 5 climb
Music City- 676 feet of climb
Riverbluff – 698 feet of climb

RUN

Knoxville- 190 feet
Chattanooga- 173 feet
Music City- 339 feet
Riverbluff- 41 feet

With a look at the basics, Chattanooga looks to be the easiest in the swim, followed by Knoxville.

On the bike, the elevation changes are virtually the same for the the June to August races, with Knoxville being vastly more difficult.  One year I stumbled across the finished line and happened to come across pro Matty Reed, who had won an hour earlier and was waiting for the awards ceremony.  I said hello and followed that up by saying, “Wow, that’s pretty hilly!” He shrugged his shoulders and said, “Well…rolling.”

On the run, even with the change of moving the 6.2 miles to a flatter course instead of running up and down hills in downtown Nashville, Music City still clocks in as the most difficult.

Challenge Knoxville Challenge Knoxville (formerly Rev3), May 17, 2015

Personally, I love this race.  With pros racing, it has a big feel to it. The finish line is great, the support is great, and the fact that it is so family friendly is huge.  This was my first ‘big’ race.  Until then, my wife wasn’t very much on board with the whole triathlon thing.  But when the kids got to do a scavenger hunt and then run down the finish with me at the end, something clicked.  She said, “Hey, let’s do this one every year.”  And for the most part, we have.  There are Challenge logos on the clothes and signage, but it’s still very much a Rev3 event, which is a good thing.  The hills on the bike are difficult- I actually do better on road by than tri bike for this one- but to me, that just adds to it.  I’ve really enjoyed meeting several pros there, listening in on the pro Q&A, and getting to a fan.  All in all, it’s certainly a favorite.  With the addition of Challenge, it’s nice to be connected to the “other” global triathlon race series.  (Note: There is also a half iron distance for you over-achievers.)

Screen shot 2015-06-05 at 2.35.47 PM  Chattanooga Waterfront- June 28, 2015

Every year I want to do this race, and every year something comes up.  So far, we’re in the clear this year, and I’m excited about racing it for the first time. Although I’m not a fan of time trial starts for open-water events, I am very excited about the downriver swim, the relatively flat bike and the flat run.  If I’m getting a PR this summer, it’s likely going to be here.  From a family perspective, it’s hard to get better than Chattanooga.  While you’re off on the bike, your family can check out the amazing Tennessee Aquarium or hop the trolley for free to get back and forth from your hotel.  Team Magic always puts on a great race, so I’m expecting good things!

 

Screen shot 2015-06-05 at 2.35.29 PMMusic City Triathlon- July 26, 2015

Pop quiz- Which race is older than Escape from Alcatraz, Wildflower, and Challenge Roth? It’s the Music City triathlon.  The race began in 1979, just a year after the Ironman Hawaii, and is one of the oldest continuous triathlons in the world.  The course has moved around the city several times but has found a downtown right on the river.  This was my first Olympic distance race, and therefore is stuck in my head as crazy difficult, but if you’re racing in the south in the middle of the summer, you’ve got to expect some heat.  Doing well in such an historic race is certainly something to talk about with your friends, and a must on your Tennessee triathlon bucket list.  (Note: There is also a sprint option, which is a lot of fun, too.)

Screen shot 2015-06-05 at 2.49.16 PM Riverbluff Triathlon (formerly Nashvegas)- August 8, 2015

The newest of the bunch, Riverbluff is great for scenery if you prefer the outdoors to the big city. Says Kat Williams of Start2Finish, “The venue is beautiful – Lake front with the post race party under a grove of trees. You can also camp at the race site. The bike course is hot, hilly and hard (especially the half). If you’ve ever heard of the Wildflower triathlon in California, the future of this race is inspired by that one.”  For me, it’s been a good race to close out the season.  With the move from early September to early August, it promises to be hot and challenging, but still keep the great atmosphere.  (Note: There is a sprint option.  There’s also normally a half as well, but due to road construction, the half is taking a year off.)

Out of these or others, which is your favorite Tennessee Olympic race?  Comment below!

I’m excited to try all of these races, and I hope you’re inspired to race one or more as well.

ALSO READ:
Why Older Triathletes Are Freaks

The Triathletes Secret Weapon At Work

 

 

 

running, triathlon

The Triathlete Black Friday Checklist

No Comments 24 November 2014

Screen shot 2014-11-24 at 5.32.35 PMDo you want to set yourself up for a great 2015 season?  Then make sure to be fully stocked and ready to go by taking advantage of Black Friday to Cyber Monday deals.

1) Know What You Need

Create your list of what you need. Last week, I wrote about how to do your Triathlete Off-Season Inventory.  If you haven’t done that, make sure to do so now.  It’s no use shopping if you don’t know what you need!

2) Know Your Options

Once you have your list, do your research.  Call up or visit your local shop, check online at a variety of stores, and sign up for to get emails on sales and discounts.  Make sure to factor in shipping and handling costs- some online stores will do big discounts on products but raise the price.

3) Shop local

Did you know Amazon is going to start doing local how-to clinics, lead weekend rides, offer in-person service, and volunteer at races? You’re right, they won’t, and they never will.

There are some things online stores can never replace.  Studies have shown that just a 10% shift in buying more locally can have a huge impact on your area. Make an effort to shop and support your local triathlon, bike, running and swim shops.  I do buy online, but I don’t try it on in a store and then buy it online from someone else, and I also try to buy at least one thing I need from each of my favorite local shops.

4) Stock up on what you know you’ll use.

A couple years ago, I found my favorite shoes marked down from $110 to $40. I stocked up, and will go about 2 1/2 years without having to buy shoes.

BONUS TIP: Don’t forget to check out deals on races- many race promoters will also do deals this weekend.

5) Don’t stock up on products you don’t know or won’t use

One year I saw a great deal on cycling knee warmers.  I never used them, but they were only $4, so it wasn’t a huge loss.  However, sometimes more expensive items I’ve never used are tempting.

There’s also a great story in the book Decisive by The Heath Brothers about getting what you need vs. what you want.  A guy is stuck trying to decide between a stereo that’s $700, or a stereo that’s slightly better for $1,000.  The salesperson, who must not have been on commission, asked him this question- “Would you rather have the $1,000 stereo, or the $700 stereo and $300 worth of downloads?”

So before you decide to make a crazy purchase, even at a discount, make sure to figure out if it’s worth it or if you’d you’d really like something else more.

6) Do something good for someone else

Make time to think of someone else by donating items or money to a running or endurance related organizations for those in needs- Soles4Soles, Barefoot Republic, Challenged Athlete Foundation, SoleHope or Bikes Not Bombs are some great.  Help someone swim, bike or run!

Do you have any tips for helping another triathlete shop well?  Comment below!

Check out: How To Do Your Triathlon Off-Season Inventory

Five Ways To Help A Friend In Need

Brian Lord is a very average age-group athlete who loves to help encourage others in the sport, save money, and write bylines about himself in the third person.

marathon, running, triathlon

How To Do Your Triathlon Off-Season Inventory

1 Comment 17 November 2014

Screen shot 2014-11-17 at 2.15.10 PM

For most triathletes, the season is over and we’re well into our “off-season recovery program”, aka, “laziness”.  With a little more time on your hands, you can conduct your first annual triathlon inventory.  Now is a perfect time to do your inventory before Black Friday and Cyber Monday hit!

Nutrition Inventory

1) Throw out what is old.  When do those Honey Stinger waffles expire? Are those GUs too gooey? Now is a much better time to figure that out then when you’re on a bike ride 40 miles from home.

2) Organize and put away what you have.  For me, I love feeling like I have a little store with gels, bars, and waffles and drank tablet tabs all in their own boxes. (I think this comes from always wanting a full box of baseball card packs as a kid.)  My wife thinks I’m weird, but she married a triathlete, so she should have known ‘weird’ came with the territory.

3) Make a list of what you need.  How many gels do you have?    Do you have enough endurance drink powder to last the long winter of biking on the trainer?   CLICK HERE FOR 6 Step Checklist To Take Advantage of Black Friday

(Exclusive Interview with Mark Allen: The Art of Ironman Success)

Gear Inventory

I basically take everything and dump it into a big pile.  With shorts, tops, socks, jammers and everything else spread between drawers, closets, car, and bags, I’ll often find something that’s been missing forever (and hopefully wasn’t dirty!)

1) Organize and put away what you have and want to keep.  Sometimes it’s just so nice to see all your clothes actually folded.  It’s the simple things.

2) Donate what is still in good condition.  Connect with your local triathlon or running club, bike shop or Y to see if there are any running, cycling, or endurance related nonprofits in your area.  Don’t wait till your gear is past doing any good before donating.  If you don’t have usable gear to donate, thing about making a monetary donation.  It pays to help the next generation!

3) Throw away or recycle what you’re not donating or keeping.  Bonus tip- Check your helmet.  If it’s more than a few years old, you need to stop using it, even if you’ve not been in a wreck.  I thought this wasn’t legit until I asked several veteran triathletes, and they all said it’s true due to natural breakdown.  One triathlete who worked in construction said they’re required to get new hardhats every year for the same reason.

4) Make a list of everything you need for the next year.  Are those compression socks still compressing? Are you good on goggles, both clear and tinted?   Keep this list to figure out how to take advantage of Black Friday/Cyber Monday deals (CLICK HERE FOR 6 Step Checklist To Take Advantage of Black Friday)

(Also read: The Triathlete’s Secret Weapon At Work)

Bonus: Friend Inventory

1) Hang out, don’t work out. There is no 2). Since you’re probably not doing as many group training bricks as you normally do, pick a night to get together to just hang out, celebrate the year you’ve had, and burn as few calories as possible.  Talk about the glorious races, failures and victories, mechanical and bodily malfunctions and all those things that only fellow endurance athletes would understand.  You’ve earned it!

What tips to you have to share about taking advantage of downtime and getting ready for next season?

ALSO CHECK OUT:

Why Older Triathletes Are Freaks!

The Surprising Reason Rock Bands Demand M&Ms

interview, running, triathlon

Mark Allen- The Art of Ironman Success

No Comments 07 October 2014

MarkAllenMark Allen, who ESPN picked as the #1 endurance athlete of all-time, took some time to do this interview with me and answer some of these questions:

What is the single best step an age-group triathlete can take to be successful?

How do you come back from a tough defeat? (Dave lost the Ironman world championship six time before overcoming his arch rival Dave Scott to win six straight himself).

WATCH: EXCLUSIVE Interview with all-time great triathlete, Chrissie Wellington

What are the universal tools people need in order to be successful in sports and business?

It’s the week of the Ironman World Championship, so I’ll be posting triathlon stories all week long!
READ: WHY OLDER TRIATHLETES ARE FREAKS
READ:  THE TRIATHLETE’S SECRET WEAPON AT WORK

READ: RE-RUNNING THE RACE THAT STARTED IT ALL

running, triathlon, work

The Triathlete’s Secret Weapon At Work

No Comments 22 September 2014

Screen Shot 2014-09-22 at 5.56.44 AMDid you know that many triathletes and runners have a secret weapon they could be using at work?  Make sure to only read this article if you want to improve your work performance, triathlon performance, avoid crows feet, and enhance your “that person is weird but also weirdly cool” vibe you’ve likely been building up with your non-endurance co-workers.

Last year I read an article called “Balance Training For Triathletes” by Ben Greenfield in LAVA Magazine.  In it, Ben states that to improve your visual balance, triathletes who spend quite a bit of time looking at screens (i.e., almost everyone) should wear “gamer” glasses.  According to the Vision Council, 70% of US adults do experience eye strain from staring at computer screens.  I did some research and found out that A) the science checks out and gamer glasses do help reduce eye strain for most people, and B) gamer glasses start at $80-$100, which I didn’t want to spend.

However, I found out that as a triathlete, I already had gamer glasses and didn’t know it.  Continue Reading

faith, Hope, money, triathlon

5 Ways To Help A Friend In Need

1 Comment 01 September 2014

Screen Shot 2014-08-31 at 6.52.46 PMHow do you help a friend who has suddenly been hospitalized?  I had a good friend who crashed on her bike yesterday training for Ironman Chattanooga, suffered a severe injury and is now facing a long hospital stay and even longer recuperation.  I’ve had a surprise hospitalization and long recovery myself, so I thought I’d write down some things you can do to help a friend in the same situation.

For an oversimplified version of my story, a fist sized mass on my small intestine, which had grown from a surgery 30 years earlier, decided to explode, because, you know, it felt like it.  I went to the hospital at 3AM, and woke up sometime the next day with tubes in my nose, horrible pain, and had a half foot incision on my stomach.  After 10 days in the hospital on an IV drip, I was released to go home.  It was a high stress time, as we had a newborn, a toddler and had just moved into a new house without having been able to sell our old house (thank you, economy :).  Since they cut clear through the muscles of the abdominal wall, I couldn’t support anything, and wasn’t allowed to hold my little baby for almost two months.  Come to think of it, my intestines exploded almost 7 years ago today, and it took till about Christmas till I was back to normal.

Luckily, we had an incredible group of friends and family looking out for us, and they set a great example for how to help someone like us in need.

1) Pray 

Prayer works.  Jesus is listening, so pray for that person daily or whenever they come to mind.

2) Food
A meal list is a popular thing, but you need to make sure you do it the right way.  Sometimes people feel the size of their dish has to be big to show they care, but seriously, who can eat a gigantic vegetable lasagna in one sitting?  Also, make sure that if you make a meal for someone, it’s in a disposable dish. We ended up having quite a collection of those porcelain casserole dishes with no idea who they belonged to.  Our Sunday school class and neighbors were amazing.  Make sure you leave instruction if necessary. An Indian family across the street made us some authentic Indian food.  When we relayed that we’d mixed the rice-type stuff and the cinnamon golf ball thing together, they were like, “Yeah, you mixed the main course and the dessert together…but that’s totally, uh, fine.”

2.5) Delivery

I like to do gift cards for places that deliver, or are very close to their home or where their spouse works.  That way, they can get what they want, when they want it. If it’s a delivery place, make sure to not just give the gift card (which they can use to pay over the phone), but also include a few bucks for tip for the delivery person, which generally you can’t do with a gift card.
3) Money
Crowdrise and some other places have cool ways to collect funds for people.  Gift cards to places like Target, Wal-Mart, Publix, etc, work well (ask a closer friend who might know where they shop).

Want to always be prepared to help? Start Your Own Emergency Giving Fund!

4) House help
One of our neighbors hired a guy to mow our yard.  I was completely out of it, and it never occurred to me to do it myself.  I remember laundry was the bane of our existence for a while. See if you can help around the house, or better yet, hire a house cleaner for them for a time.  Sometimes people prefer to have a stranger cleaning things up, rather than having a friend see all their mess.  Cleaners can be expensive, so in one instance 10 friends got together and paid for it. Also, don’t forget their spouse.  Often it’s harder on them in some ways that the person with the physical recovery.  My wife was awesome, but I know it really took a toll on her, and it was great when family or friends came and gave her a break.

5) Calendar
Take out your calendar right now, whether its in a planner or on your phone or whatever, and mark it for one month, two months, and/or three months from now.  THAT is when this friend of yours really needs you.  It’s human nature to have a big emotional reaction right when an accident or hospitalization occurs, but your friend is still in need much longer.   Get them another gift card, watch their kids for them, send them a card to encourage them on October 1st, November 1st, and December 1st.

How has someone helped you in a time of need?

ALSO READ: 3 Small Steps To Make 1 Big Difference

 

interview, triathlon

Chrissie Wellington-Life Without Limits

No Comments 04 August 2014

Screen shot 2014-08-04 at 2.05.22 PMChrissie Wellington is more than just one of the greatest triathletes in history- she’s a humanitarian, traveler, and one of the most thoughtful people you’ll ever hear.  Watch this exclusive interview about her book “Life Without Limits”.  This is actually just Part 1.  The interview I did with Chrissie is the longest I ever recorded- something like an hour- so I’m splitting it up into multiple section.  I now have no doubt in watching her old races that at no point is her mind not going even faster than her jet-propelled bike!

NEXT: Check out why older triathletes are freaks!

Note: Sometimes wires get crossed during requests, and Chrissie had thought this was supposed to be an audio interview.  Being known to be able to handle surprises and obstacles, she went through with her interview sans make-up like the trooper she is.

 

Why older triathletes are freaks!

cycling, triathlon

Why Older Triathletes Are Freaks

5 Comments 29 July 2014

Screen shot 2014-07-29 at 9.23.11 AMI’ve come to realize that ‘older’ triathletes (no good PC term comes to mind) are freaks. I’m in my 30s and work at an office in which almost everyone is younger than me, so almost everyone I know in their 50s and 60s are triathletes. In my mind, it’s normal that some 54-year-old woman has extremely defined calf muscles that you glimpse briefly as she flies by you up a 15% incline hill, or some 62-year-old guy has a resting heart rate of lower than his age and still races ironman triathlons in under 12 hours.

Then I went on our first cruise with my family this month. Let’s just say this cruise skewed older. Out of 1,600 passengers on board, only 18 were kids under the age of 12, so this cruise was certainly not catering to people with young families. For the first time in a long time, I was surrounded by 50- and 60-year-olds who weren’t predominantly endurance athletes. They didn’t spend Saturday mornings cranking out 50 miles on the bike, and then getting in a dozen miles more on the run on Sunday before church. They weren’t hitting the pool at 5AM for 100 repeats and getting in a quick 5K run at lunch.

In a word, these people on the cruise were…normal.

They were rounder, softer, and just seemed to look older and less healthy. It’s nothing against them for choosing that particular non-triathlete lifestyle, but it made me appreciate what these people I know have chosen to be and become. It’s kind of like watching basketball on TV. Those point guards seem so short compared to other basketball players on the court. Then you you meet an NBA point guard in person, and you’re like, “Wow. 6’5 is tall!”

I realized that triathletes have skewed my perception of what ‘normal’ is. It’s not normal to keep in shape, to still be an athlete, to have people 20s and 30s wish they could look like someone in their 50s and 60s. That drive and determination are the exception, not the rule. So, to you older triathletes, I salute you, and I hope I can be just like you when I grow up!

Has an older triathlete ever been an inspiration to you?  Comment below!

Speaking of living a different type of life, check out my interview with Chrissie Wellington. She’s one of the most interesting people I’ve ever interviewed, and she retired having never lost a single ironman race!

READ: How Robin Williams Secretly Used His Movies and Events To Help The Homeless

 

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