Why triathlon?

Forty-two. Graying. 185 pounds and slope-shouldered. Runs an 11:00 mile and has had to work 2 years to get to that point. Double-chinned. Soft. Round. Was forty before getting past anxiety with her face in the water. Has never in her life been athletic.

An everyday woman, an everyday-looking woman, who would have laughed you off a year ago if you'd told her what she'd be doing now. Who is in the midst of training for her first triathlon. Who is believing in her body, that body I just described, exactly as it is, as she never has before.

Why did I sign up for the triathlon?

At first because I was mad. I'd been looking forward to conquering the hill on the Hospital Hill 5K for a year, and it looked like recovery from minor but necessary medical procedures were going to rob me of that effort.

It felt so unfair being told that I couldn't move, be active. And I recognized that directive, and it made me mad. I'd been telling myself the same thing all my life. You can't do those things. You're too big and slow. Don't you remember? You're not strong. And I was suddenly sick of hearing it.

I'll show you what I can do, I said to myself. Goodbye, I said to the part of me that had been telling me what I could and couldn't do in this body all these years.

Hello, I said to Me the Triathlete. And "Hello!" says the triathlete-in-training to you. Let's go see how much can be done by someone who's finally had enough of believing what she can't do.

(Cross-posted from A Sunny Hello.)


solitary kitsch said...

coming over from Shakesville: Best wishes to you! (signed, my first marathon is in less than a week :) ) I look forward to keeping up with your progress.

Ann Pai said...

Hey, solitary kitsch! HIGH FIVE on the marathon! Please stop back in comments and tell me how it goes! Best wishes on enjoying every single step!