First off (AND MOST IMPORTANTLY, just kidding, sort of), triathlon clothes are the literal worst. I mean, I think I look better butt naked than I do in my horrible triathlon shorts. They come up really high, they’re somehow too tight and too loose at the same time, and WHY must they sag in such strange ways?? I was very self conscious on the morning of my first tri walking around and feeling so awkward and uncomfortable because of what I was wearing, then I looked around and realized that practically NO ONE looks good in tri apparel. I have since decided to not worry about it as much because clearly the terrible, flattering to literally zero humans, sausage-casing-like clothes must serve some advantage because there are no other options on the market.
Second, swimming is FUN!!!!!!! I LOVE SWIMMING! I know I have probably talked about this enough, but I don’t know if I’ve ever been more proud of my progress. In 16 weeks Tri 101 transformed me into a hesitant doggy paddler to a legit swimmer. It’s something I love to do now and look forward to each week, I even find myself looking out for opportunities where I can do it more. I am so thankful to have found another sport that I very obviously adore. Having this skill in my arsenal will be vital to me being a healthy, well rounded person for years and years to come.
Because of these new sports I have taken up, I have learned the lesson that running 6 times a week is not the only way for me to be a strong athlete. I used to think that if I ran less I wouldn’t be able to do the things I want to do. Well guess what? I ran about 3 times a week this summer and I did everything I wanted to do and MORE! I exceeded all of my expectations and am fitter than I have been in a long time. Why? Because running isn’t the only thing that can make you strong. That is a lesson I truly needed to learn.
Trying new things is scary, but worth it. It’s been a while since I pushed my comfort zone this much and I had forgotten how gratifying it is to conquer something you are completely terrified of. I truly believe that learning to push my limits and take on things that I’m not quite sure I can do has made me a better person and tackling the triathlon class was exactly what I needed to get myself in the right mindset to enter marathon and ultra marathon season. I am so excited about running right now and instead of dreading the grueling process of long distance training, I am looking forward to it with a refreshed perspective.
Ultimately, I am once again filled with gratitude– as I often am when I spend any period of time thinking about how far I’ve come and all the people who have helped me along the way. My advice to you? Try something new, never avoid something just because it’s scary, and always remember that you are capable of WAY more than you think 🙂