My Triathlon Story
I believe that all endurance athletes have great stories. Actually, I believe all people have great stories. My focus with TriRiot is to tell the stories of ordinary age group triathletes. Once we know their stories, we see that they aren’t so ordinary after all. This is my triathlon story that I usually submit to races that ask me for a “bio” or “story”. I don’t know if anyone has read it, but it gives me inspiration to read it from time to time so I can remind myself why I do what I do. I encourage everyone to write their own “story” for that reason.
My Triathlon Story
Triathlon is an amazing journey and I often say that it is a microcosm of life itself. If that sounds like hyperbole, then consider the first noble truth of Buddhism:
“To live you must suffer.”
I’m no Buddhist. But I do know that a right amount of suffering is needed to grow in all aspects of life. Grass grows thicker when you mow it, muscles get bigger when you stress them and people learn things after failures. Triathlon embodies all of that, yet my story is simple. I have no debilitating diseases. I am not a challenged athlete. I have not overcome obesity. I am not a celebrity.
Outside of family, there are two passions I follow. The first is training and racing in triathlon and the second is telling stories of triathlon through video. The seed of both those passions came from my father which is interesting, because he never participated in a triathlon. He did, however, tell stories of running down the Pacific Coast Highway on quiet mornings or running up the hills of Pacific Palisades. Dad could tell a story like no one else and, even though I hated running at the time, I loved his stories. At his memorial I confessed that he could outrun me when I was 16 and he was 56.
I raced my second IRONMAN on the first anniversary of Dad’s death and although he never saw me race when he was alive, it made him so happy that I got out there and did it. He knew the transformative power of the sport. He knew the temporary suffering on the field of athletics would ease the greater suffering of one’s own inner deamons.
Suffering the loss of a loved one is never easy. It’s not pretty. It’s not newsworthy. Yet every one of us will suffer that loss. Triathlon keeps alive in me, the dream that one day I might look in the mirror and see the person I saw in my father.