Thursday, May 18, 2006

Triathlon "To-do List"

Found this at Beginner Triathlete:

The List
By Scott Tinley

The following are a few little tidbits I picked up while I was a triathlete for 25 years:

Leg cramps suck.

If it's hot outside, you ought to drink some water.

There are only two reasons to drop out of a race: The first is if you manage to break your right femur; the other is if you have busted the left one. Beyond that, I can't think of any reason not to finish.

Don't ever be intimidated by hard, tan, hairless bodies. The veneer is not a window to the heart and the mind - the two parts that actually count.

Don't be afraid of sharks when swimming in the ocean. "Jaws" was a fictional movie.

Chicks don't necessarily dig scars.

If you ever get the chance to sing the national anthem before the start of a race, do it. Just make sure you know the words, and start an octave lower than you normally sing.

Sunscreen is overrated. Hats are underrated. [NOTE: The only one I disagrred with--try the Coppertone Sport!]

It's OK to sprint the final 100 yards of a race even if you have walked 90 percent of the distance. You paid the damn entry fee.

There are two kinds of cyclists. Those who have crashed and those who are going to crash.

The next time you enter a race and all your friends of yours are crowded around, waiting, excited, nervous and the water looks a bit intimidating but strangely inviting nonetheless, appreciate what goes into putting on a triathlon.

Keep a pair of swim goggles in the glove box of your car.

Keep a pair of swim goggles in the drawer of your desk at work; not to use but to remind you of the concept of balance.

Keep every race number from every event you ever enter, writing down the date and a few notes on the back. The T-shirts, like the pain and soreness, will fade with time. But the old numbers, stuffed away in some long forgotten file and recalled at some distant point in time, are keys to unlocking priceless memories.

When you have a bad race, and it will happen, keep it to yourself. Go ahead and bore your dog, your fish and your pet turtle with your tales of woe, but spare your friends. They don't care. They only want to see you come home safe knowing you have enjoyed yourself.

When you have a good race, which can now be defined as coming home safe and happy, be proud of it, share it once and only lightly. And then inquire as to your friends' result.

When riding in an area without bike lanes and cautious drivers, consider attaching a 3-foot antennae to the side of your bike with a #10 sheet metal screw taped to the tip. If a driver is to come dangerously close, placing your health and welfare in question, he or she may be reminded of their lapse of consideration by the presence of a new racing stripe along the side molding.

When a free massage is offered at the end of an event, always tip the volunteer with kindness, gratitude or a few bucks. Consider it a karmic transaction.

When things get especially tough in a race, call on a source that is especially good at pulling you through. Hint: It's not your spouse, your coach or your college psychology professor.

Support sponsors that support triathlon. Another karmic thing, even if it is rooted in capitalism.

When you dream of winning, stop not at a liquor store to buy a lottery ticket on the way to work, but take the time to write the dream down on a piece of paper and keep it in a safe place in your wallet. It has the same value as a winning ticket.

If it's cold outside bring the jacket you think you might not need on your bike ride.

Race entry fees aren't cheap. Create a little fund inside a cookie jar that sits on the kitchen counter. Every time you buy something on sale, make that lawn mower last another season or have Jim Rice at Sole Performance fix that broken heel on your favorite pair of pumps, instead of buying a new pair, toss a pocketful of loose change into that jar. Pretty soon you'll be racing for 'free' and feeling better about yourself in the process.

Knowledge can be found in a book; wisdom's found on a street corner. But the cornerstone of both is built upon experience. Race often and with purpose.

Leg cramps always suck. If you find a sure cure, please tell me.

1 comment:

weavermom said...

I enjoyed this list - thanks!!