I volunteered to be a “transition monitor” at a local triathalon this morning.
I just need to say that I’m totally inspired. Just the word triathalon scares me bejeebers out of me. But I stood for a few hours cheering on people of many shapes, sizes, and ages. For nearly all of them, finishing was the goal, and EVERYONE who left walked out with a huge smile on their face.
I can get behind that. It was so cool to see the 64-year-old lady (oldest finisher) cheering on the five-year-old girl as she rounded the final corner for the kid’s tri.
Of course, these kinds of things always make me think about how they translate to life. The mere challenge of participating in this kind of race is enough to deter most. And simply finishing (forget times!) yields a sense of pride and accomplishment. What an interesting contrast to the standard 5 and 10k road races I’m so familiar with, where time and place are the benchmarks for achievement.
As far as how it relates to “real life,” I think everyone has times in their life where they’re more focused on simply surviving than in being “the best.” But I (personally) usually tend to be more impressed by “place” or “time” than in survivors. At least, in real life… so far.
But from now on, if someone tells me they’re a triathlete, my jaw will officially drop to the floor. And that will be true for both races and for life.
Shout out to you all, because I’m pretty sure that anyone who reads the stories of others must have survived some stuff themselves. All survivors, whether it be from sickness, sadness, or hardcore adversity, deserve my respect and some jaw drop-page of their own!
You guys are the triathletes of life!