You know how when you learn a new word, you start seeing it everywhere? Or hear about a new movie and then suddenly everyone you know is talking about it. It seems that since I've started this venture I'm suddenly meeting all sorts of athletes or finding out that people I already knew are harboring a secret athletic life.
I have a couple theories for this. 1.) They were always out there but took one look at my decidedly UN-athletic frame and figured I wouldn't know my 10K from a turkey or 2.) Not only does my new interest put me naturally in the company of more athletes but perhaps causes me to seek them out, or encourage them to reveal that secret part of themselves to me due to some subconscious "likes attract" thing.
I'm not sure how I got on the track of triathlons with my dentist this week. He certainly has never brought them up before with me (See theory #1) but it turns out he's a champion triathlete - in his spare time. It was the best teeth cleaning I've had! Not only did I leave with a brand new toothbrush, floss and cute little tube of paste, but full of great advice for training - especially the dreaded cycling, which is his favorite and my LEAST favorite.
He seems to think it isn't enough that I've bookmarked the registration page for a July tri, but that I should go ahead and register now and, get this, sign up for another one for August. He says I'll work so hard to be ready for July that the let down will be pretty big if there's not another one on the horizon.
There was a time when I'd find that idea pretty hilarious. In fact the idea of my even bookmarking a triathlon is still a pretty good thigh-slapper in some of my circles but I remember what it felt like after I finished that first 5K. I was so thrilled that I did it that I ran a 4 miler two days later and a 10K the next month. Now I try to have a race on the calendar every month or I just don't really enjoy my running. So it doesn't seem so way out of there that I might experience the same after a tri.
Oh, and it's funny. I went from adamantly refusing to consider a tri, to saying I was considering one to now telling people I'm getting my base level of fitness set so I can begin serious training in the spring. OK - that one still makes me giggle. Base level of fitness.....Remember, I've been all about the "bass" level of fitness for years.
I wonder if I'll ever really feel comfortable with the term "athlete". I do feel athletic, but I think I'd have to draw the line there. Maybe if I'd choose a run over a good bottle of wine EVER, I'd think about the moniker. Maybe it's like being told you're pretty but all you ever see are your big thick glasses and lumpy nose.
Still, they're attached to some shoulders that are starting to show the hint of definition and that's pretty cool.