Saturday, September 15, 2007


Every once in a while, I get a life lesson from this triathlon stuff that I do. Something happens in a race that inspires me in real life. At last weekends International Distance Triathlon in Hartsville, SC, I had one of those moments

Last weeks race at Hartsville had all the makings of a catastrophie. I had a cold the week before, a headache the night before, my shoe fell off in the bike mount area, I went off the road into the sand, I cramped up and my shoes came undone.

Despite this chain of setbacks, I had one of my best races ever, resulting in a top 10 overall finish and second in my age group. How did it happen? I attribute two phrases to my success last weekend: 1) It does not matter; 2) Press on!

When my problems came up in the race, I worked to keep in mind that the little problems in my race were very small in a grand scheme of the 2 1/2 hour race. I likely lost a minute when my shoe fell off. What is a minute in a race that long? There are plenty of places to make it up.

Many of the type A triathletes of the world get bent out of shape about these little things, that they make it a terminal to their whole race. You can not do that in a race or in life. When you are hurting, sore or have a small or major blip to your plans, you should not make it matter, because in the grand scheme, it does not matter.

Most races, workout or life in general has it's dark moments. We are fools to think otherwise. Success is about how you press on when things get difficult. Stay focused on the goals for the race and keep doing what needs to be done. In fact, when things got difficult, I pushed harder, because I knew that there was some making up to do for the tough moments. I made up for going off the road by passing about 5 people on the next uphill.

I was so busy pushing in that race, I had no idea how I was doing. I passed several people on the run, including some competitors in my age group. As the finish line approached, I heard the announcer say "all the elite guys are in" which meant I was running close to the front. After all the problems and pushing through, I had one of my best finishes ever, thanks to good old fashioned persistence.

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