Reflections on a Triathlon

Last Sunday morning I participated in the Lake Chaparral Triathlon in Calgary, AB. A friend named Kent and I were a team in this relay style event (Team K2). I swam the 1.5 km swim portion and then jumped on a bike and rode the 40 km cycling section before passing my timing chip to Kent who finished up with a 10 km run. We finished in 2 hours, 53 minutes which achieved our goal of completing it in less than 3 hours. Simon Whitfield, Canada’s best tri-athlete, won a silver medal at the Beijing Olympics doing these same distances in 1 hour, 49 minutes. But who’s comparing?
This event was a warm-up for me. On September 7 I plan to do the Vancouver Triathlon as a solo competitor and I think I can still finish in under 3 hours. We will see.
I do not compete in triathlons to beat other people and win a prize but I do compete. I compete against myself. I compete against my previous time, and I compete against my stubborn lazy will.
Physical fitness takes serious discipline. When I started training I did not have the ability to propel myself 51.5 km by swimming, biking, and running. Running 3.5 km made my side ache and my lungs burn. But 5 or 6 days a week I got up out of bed in enough time to do just a little bit more than I had the day before. Muscles began to grow and get stronger. Soon I was able to run 5 km without too much pain and then 10 km.
I am competing against my stubborn lazy will in other ways as well. I seek to have mental, emotional and spiritual discipline in my life. These also require serious training. I wasn’t born with all the knowledge of the world. I don’t always have the right emotional temperament. I can’t start as a spiritual giant. I will not achieve Olympic status in any of these. But I can get up and do just a little bit more than I did the day before. I can compete against myself.

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