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
My story begins with a man who was absolutely obsessed with endurance running and his youngest son who absolutely hated it. You guessed it: I’m the son and my dad is the obsessed runner.
Dad pushed himself hard because he believed that hard work would yield great results. On the other hand, I didn’t! I clearly remember one day when I was minding my own business in front of the TV and Dad walked through the TV room. Seeing me sitting there must have triggered something in him, because he lit into me for the first time that I can recall. He yelled at me to get outside and do something active: hit a tennis ball, run to the park, do something other than sit in front of the TV. I reluctantly did as he wanted, but never really cared for it.
In the 20 years that followed, he proved his love of endurance through running, swimming and biking. He never competed in a triathlon, but did finish multiple 10k races, and a marathon. I, on the other hand, only exerted myself out of practical necessity.
Around 2004 his words came back to haunt me. I was out of work, suffering from depression and saw no future for myself other than failure. Then something changed: my wife urged me to enter a 5K race with her. I did it and found a sense of accomplishment that I hadn’t felt before. I really did have my father’s love of endurance sports. From then on I could hear the excitement in my father’s voice when he would ask about my training and racing. Those were moments of real connection between father and son, but by that time my father was battling prostate cancer and was no longer running or biking. We were, however, able to swim together a few times at the pool in the community where he spent his last years. Those are moments I will always keep with me.
I raced my second IRONMAN on the first anniversary of Dad’s death. I still keep his picture taped to my basebars from that race on September 11, 2011. He never saw me race, but it made him so happy that I got out there and did it. Winning was never the point for him and it isn’t for me.
These days, my goal is to capture the essence of triathlon. I believe that every triathlete has a story worthy of attention because, every journey to the finish line is a journey of self discovery. There is something deep in the human experience that pushes us to test our physical and mental limits, because only through that testing and pushing are we able to grow.
In my web show (TriRiot.com), I attempt to show the world what it means to be a triathlete and why so many people love our sport. I believe there are too many people hesitant to enter triathlon or just get off their couch simply because they don’t believe in themselves. I’d like to change that.
Other than all that, I’m just an ordinary dude having fun, enjoying life and pushing myself to the limit.