Day 1 as something other than a triathlete


I woke up this morning feeling a bit odd. What does a NON-triathlete do? Do I keep swimming, gymming, biking? What if I actually WANT to go for a run? What do I do with all my running gear?

Before my mum died she said she had confidence that I could reinvent myself. Did she know this would happen? I moved to an area in New Zealand where triathlon really isn’t that big, cycling is though. Was that fate? I am moving next month to a house in the country. Running was going to be an issue when you live on a highway in the middle of nowhere. Was this fate?

I decided I needed to make a plan, or at least explore one. So I went to the bike shop and explained. He thought that cycling was a great idea, considering my new imposed restrictions. He advised I didn’t sell the TT bike, and we talked about various ‘build your own’ track bike options.

I thought carefully about all the wording on my web sites, an updated it. I have also had many many lovely words of support and encouragement from friends, people on social networks worldwide.

Then I got onto TRIBE (triathlon New Zealand) joined up, and looked into coaching qualifications. I have thought about this before, but now seems like a fantastic time to consider it again.

It’s not like you haven’t invented yourself before, it’s just that most people only do it once in their lifetime

said one friend.

From rugby player, to ref, to triathlete to…???

said another.

I was asked what I would do next. I said ‘ah I dunno, watch this space’. He said

how long for, eyes are getting sore now!

Less jesting, more planning. I contacted cycling Southland. The masters track squad training starts on Sunday this week. Count me in, even though I feel utterly terrified. Grouped with triathletes, I am a good cyclist, but grouped with cyclists I am rubbish. We went to the rowing club this evening too. They were still joking about the regatta this weekend. By the end of this evening session – a great training session in a coxless four, I was feeling a lot lot more positive about whether I could row a boat, and stay balanced and upright. We were able to get all four of us rowing for the first time.

At the end of the session the coach asked were we coming to the regatta, if the weather is ok, we might be able to compete. How excited was I!? I continue to live in hope for a calm day on Saturday morning!

I finally understand

Very good, medal winning triathletes are members of a cycling, running, swimming AND triathlon club. I can now see why. Don’t ever underestimate the benefit of a club, the skills, competitiveness and drive that comes with that. Also don’t ever underestimate giving completely unrelated sports a go. I know that for long term good knee health for me, I need to keep the legs good and strong. Well, rowing will strengthen my ham strings for sure!

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