Back in 2008 I signed up for my first Triathlon at Pacific Grove, a 1.5km swim, 40km bike & 10km run. I’d not done any endurance type sports in my life up to that point and whilst I wasn’t exactly unfit it felt a daunting challenge…to complete my first triathlon. This was 2 years after losing my arm in a paragliding accident. After contemplating doing a marathon or cycle event, triathlon seemed the ultimate challenge for someone with one arm…swim, bike & run…what fun!
I remember my first training session with Team In Training, I turned up at the pool with my mountain bike, nobly tires and all. I hadn’t really been swimming since my accident and front crawl had never been my favorite stroke prior. However, in the pool I jumped, struggling to swim 30 lengths (at least I didn’t go around in circles). Then off for a 50 min bike ride. I had to stop after 20 mins and rest for 5 mins before heading back…not a great showing. Later in the season I was so proud I had run 5 miles in an hour, the final “long” run in preparation for race day, I’d never run that far before. And race day was a huge achievement, 3 1/2 months of training and 3 hrs 23 mins to cross the finish line.
Fast forward 5 years, one bike accident, many Half Ironman triathlons, century bike rides, marathons and 2 full Ironmans later and what a difference. After completing Ironman Lake Tahoe end of last year and moving to New York City from California beginning of this year I thought I’d take things a bit easier and entered for the NYC Triathlon this August. Going back to where I started distance-wise, it’s “just” a 1.5km swim in the Hudson River, a 40 km bike along the West Highway & 10km run in Central Park.
And it’s that “just” that caused me to pause and reflect. What had seemed so daunting then I now viewed in a whole new light, in contrast to the time and energy to train for a 140.6 mile Ironman, training for the NYC Triathlon felt like a respite…only a 2 hour bike instead of 6 or 7 hours at the weekend…no problem. Sometimes it’s good to look back and marvel at how far you’ve come, too often we lose track of how we’ve grown, the progress we’ve made.
How far have you come…why not go celebrate a bit?
If you’d like to support my efforts and donate you can click the button below, the money I raise goes to help those with disabilities continue to lead even more active lives with the aid of prosthetics and adaptive devices that often aren’t covered by medical insurance.
Help me raise $2000 for the Challenged Athletes Foundation