June 14, 2009
It occurred to me that, for a long time, I've been telling all my friends, and frankly anyone else who would listen, that they were capable of much more than they ever thought. "What would the person you wish you were do in this situation?" was my standard advice.
I have faced plenty of my own doubts and fears in the past few years - meeting some pretty dark times with successes like performing stand-up comedy, sky-diving, singing in front of an audience. Generally, if I thought it was something I'd like to do, I would find a way to give it a try.
It was in the midst of helping a certain bold Sicilian face her own fears of singing karaoke in a bar, that I started wondering what challenge I could take on next for myself. I'd already put in insulation under the porch, figured out how to cut trim for windows and laid sub-flooring by myself. What else did I truly think I couldn't accomplish?
A few weeks before I had gone to see a friend complete a triathalon. Now it should be stated here so there is no confusion - I am not an athlete. This will become very important later on in this story if you're still reading. I come from a long line of not-athletes. My parents held a certain disdain for anyone pursuing fitness or exercise, and we carry the physiques to prove it.
Anyway, back to the triathalon. As I watched women nearly twice my age and some with a good many pounds on me move from water to road to run I found it harder and harder to say with any conviction "Oh that's crazy, I could never do that."
Now I'm not contemplating a triathalon anytime in the near future - it seems like I should probably learn to swim before that happens, and perhaps not be terrified to bike in a group of other bikers, but I do know how to put one foot in front of the other. How hard could a running race be?
Once I've said an idea out loud to myself, I find it hard to put it down. I contacted the triathalon friend for some advice on training and finding a race, got myself signed up for a 5K in July and began the challenge of getting fit.