east-leake-tri-sept-2016-167-zf-3393-42864-1-001Is there anything you’ve always been fascinated by and wanted to have a go at? For me it was triathlon… you know, those crazy sounding events that involve a swim, followed by a cycle ride, followed by a run. The thought of doing a triathlon had intrigued me for a good few years- the sheer endurance involved with doing not one, not two but three different sports- one after the other. I wondered what it would be like to try a ‘Tri’… and, more importantly, if I could ever do it.

At the time I had no bike and had only swum doggy paddle for years, so the triathlon idea got put firmly on the back boiler. Fast forward a few years and my sister and brother-in-law kindly bought me a straight handlebar road bike, plus I recently started swimming lessons, mainly to keep my friend company as we usually walk together but she hurt her knee earlier this year.

As I started to master the correct swimming strokes, the triathlon idea started to raise its head again… well okay what actually happened was that I have entered the Outlaw Half Triathlon next May. This is half Iron Man distance- 1.2 mile open water swim and a 56 mile bike ride, all topped off with a half marathon (13.1mile) run… for someone who can manage several lengths of a very slow front crawl and doesn’t feel confident cycling in traffic- or stopping and starting…

Gulp!

It occurred to me that maybe I had better actually enter and complete a triathlon to see what they are all about, so when I saw the East Leake Sprint Triathlon advertised it seemed like the perfect opportunity. 400 metre swim (16 lengths), around 13 miles on the bike and a 5k run, so it seemed quite achievable.

This didn’t stop me for feeling nervous though as I got my bike out the car and wheeled it towards registration. Luckily one of the ladies manning registration took pity on me and walked with me through the transitions areas, whilst explaining how it all works- I really appreciated her support.

In fact, all of the marshals and volunteers did their best to make everyone feel supported and were so encouraging. I was one of the first to swim- I think that they let the slower ones start first. I thought I would be the slowest swimmer but I wasn’t, which boosted my confidence.

There were a couple of sticky moments on the bike when I had two buses behind me, but the route was rural and I stopped worrying about the traffic, figuring that it was up to them to pass me safely. There were quite a few hills but I managed to keep going.

The run involved three laps, each including a hill! When I set off I thought, there is no way I am going to be able to run this, but ordered my brain to shut up and kept shuffling forwards.

Eventually the finish line was just ahead and I thought- I am just about to finish my first ever triathlon! I crossed the line in just over 1 hour 55 minutes- I don’t think the Brownlee brothers need watch their backs any time soon, but I was chuffed to complete something that had always intrigued me, and that I had always wanted to try.

And I feel like I have taken a big step towards the audacious goal I have set myself next May!

So… what intrigues and fascinates you? What would you really like to have a go at… what it is that you secretly wonder if you are capable of doing… you know what I am going to say now don’t you!

Just do the thing. Have a go. If you don’t make it, learn the lesson, come back stronger and try again! It might be a triathlon, it might be a 5k run, it might be something completely different like taking dance lessons, or learning a new language, or completing a sponsored walk.

Heck, you could even go all out and set yourself a big, hairy scary goal like I have done!! This could be entering a half marathon, entering a dance competition, signing up for a tough charity trek or booking a plane ticket to the country whose language you are learning so you can converse with the locals.

So come on… commit to trying something new and interesting today!


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