Saturday, June 10, 2023

The Need to Be Challenged (Or, Why I Do Triathlons)

Good morning, folks. Well, tomorrow is the Rex Wellness Sprint Triathlon down in Knightdale, NC. It begins with a 250-yard swim in the center's saline pool, followed by a 12.5 mile bike course and a mere 2 mile run. Today I found out where I will be seeded during the swim leg of the race and, as you can see, at #87 I'm not exactly out in front. 

Yes, I am a good swimmer, but man, these true triathletes are experts in swimming and cycling, both. The only leg of the race where I could possibly gain ground on other participants would be the run but, sheesh, I don't even warm up until mile 2 of a race and this event has only a 2 mile run. 

Lord willing, after tomorrow's race I'll publish a post-race report for your entertainment, telling how I, a lazy beach bum from Hawaii, actually finished a triathlon -- IF I finish. From the very depths of my ineptitude and clumsiness, I hope you will find inspiration. If I do it right (and we both know I won't), instead of saying, "Man, that Dave is some athlete," you'll come away saying, "Imagine what I could do if I got off my duff." I'm not fast or talented, just stubborn. That's the main reason I'm not just sitting around the farm watching the grass grow. In 71 years of living, I haven't achieved all that I could. I haven't taught as well as I can, written as well as I can, spoken as well as I can, or run as fast as I can. But thankfully, I'm not finished. I'm hoping to turn all my restlessness and my love of travel and adventure into quietude, my stubbornness into a more single-minded devotion to God. Without constant renewal, our souls shrivel up and die. Like everyone else, I want to be challenged. I want to see how much effort I can put out and what I can endure. Racing allows that. In a sense, a triathlon (this will be my 11th) is the classic trial for the person devoid of talent or skill but determined to finish. As I said in my blog earlier this week, we were all meant to be participants in life, not mere spectators. To do this, we must find our sport.

Have you found yours yet? I hope so.