Just two years ago, I could have NEVER pictured myself in a triathlon. I love watching the Olympics. I admire triathletes and want to be one, but I always thought, "I'll be a triathlete in my next life."
Well, things have changed.
Swimming--7 laps of the pool:
A friend and I swapped yoga lessons for swimming lessons a year and a half ago and I learned that I could actually swim. Mostly backstroke, but still. Just two years ago you could not have convinced me that I could swim, and now I can. That's a pretty big deal. Ben's also given me some lessons in the past couple of months, too. I couldn't even do a full length of the pool in freestyle two months ago and I had no idea how to do the breaststroke. Now I can do both. I'm building up slowly so I don't have to gasp for a few minutes every time I finish a length of the pool.
I was never worried about this section of the event. I did the Wright Stuff Century Ride. Admittedly I did the metric century--100km or 62 miles--but that is a VERY hilly ride through the driftless region of Wisconsin. And it was back in 2001. I also did the MS Ride back in the 90's (doesn't that sound weird and old all at once?). That ride was 150 miles over 2 days. So, anyway, 17 miles is definitely doable.
Here was my biggest stumbling block. Just 3 months ago I would have told you that I am NOT a runner and nor would I EVER be. I considered running painful and vomit-inducing and the runner's high was a vicious myth.
But...then I had a major case of the Februaries this year and I joined a gym. One day the elliptical machines were all full and I had had a particularly aggravating day with the boy (cutest on the planet--but aggravating) so I got on the treadmill and ran it all out.
After giving birth and living through the trials of the newborn stage, my threshold for physical and mental pain is completely different. Running pounds out any mommy angst, it is the most efficient workout when you have a mildly crabby baby waiting for you in the childcare. And the best part is:
It makes me feel like I can do anything.
This experience of training for a triathlon has completely changed my vision of myself. I used to pick up new crafts "just to see if I can do it." Okay, I still do that. But now, in addition to seeing myself as a wife, mother, knitter, sewist, gardener, yoga teacher, physical therapist, baker, painter, bicyclist etc. I can add swimmer, runner and triathlete to the list. I don't have to win a race. I just have to drag my butt across the finish line and live up to my own goals.
Goals which are pretty high, darn it.
Note: Cute baby pictures do not mean to imply that Henry will be doing the triathlon. He will be playing
with a babysitter during the event. And he'll probably join me for a nap with him when it is all over.