Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Golf, Hunting, Fishing, Triathlon

People often tell me that I am crazy because I do triathlons and the training that goes into it.  Six days a week I am running, swimming, or biking and sometimes a combination of the three on the same day. 

My response is usually, "I'm crazy?".

Once I got to thinking about my time commitment to training for triathlons it became clear that it is more or less a hobby.   It's kinda like golf, hunting, and fishing.  Each of those hobbies involve a lot of time, investment in equipment, and preparation.  So am I really crazy for having a triathlon hobby?

Think about it for a second.  A deer hunter doesn't just wake up one morning and say, "hey I want to kill a deer".  There is a lot of preparation that happens before the hunter reaches the stand to sit there for hours in the morning in hopes of a buck passing by.  There is a lot of time getting the stand ready, getting the bow or shotgun working properly, and making sure you have all the right gear.  These folks are crazy too, right?  I mean why else would you get up at 3am to spray yourself with deer urine.

A golfer spends at least 4 hours per round and we all know that golf isn't the cheapest sport.  Golfers, including myself, they're crazy too, right?  Why spend 4 hours and $50 dollars to chase a white ball around that all it does is make you mad.

Fishing also takes time and a lot of money can be spent on getting the right equipment.  Are fishermen crazy?  They spend hours on the water casting the latest and greatest lure below a surface in which they have no idea what lies beneath. 

The sport of triathlon is no different.  And yes I guess we (triathletes) are perceived as little crazy too.  We train for countless hours to do something on a weekend that most people don't fathom doing.  Why would someone torture themselves with swimming, biking, and running on the same day?

It's the same reason why people hunt, fish, and golf.  They enjoy being outdoors, they like not knowing how the day will end up but are prepared to have their best day, they like the adrenaline rush of getting the catch, its a time to get away from the daily grind, they have a passion for it, and they just love doing it.  It's that long drive or impossible putt that goes in, pulling that huge bass out of the water, or that 14 point buck.  That's also way they do it.  So does that make them crazy? 

Each triathlete from the pros to the age groupers all have a story in how they got into the sport of triathlon.  If you did a Google search you would probably find a thousand stories and each story would be unique, inspirational and different.

I do it for many reasons.  I do it to stay healthy and fit, to change my workout routine up a little, to do something most people don't, to be a roll model for my kids, to meet "crazy" triathlon people like myself, to get my mind away from the daily stresses, to hopefully inspire others around me, to get race shirts and medals, to get that adrenaline rush and butterflies on race morning, but most importantly I tri because it fuels my competitive personality.

When a small amount of people do something the thing they are doing is inherently considered weird, crazy, and different.  Really though it's just normal to them.  It's their hobby and they just like doing it. 

Maybe I am not so crazy after all....just doing something out of the ordinary that makes me happy.

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