Out of swimming, biking, and running, which is the most fun?? Which is the least fun?? Here Dave Fisher (Connecticut) hilariously addresses those questions in the first of a 2-part series on the subject. Choose wisely!
Do not read this straight through from the beginning to the end. There are many different adventures you can go on in the Adventure of the Triathlete. From time to time as you read along, you may be asked to make a choice. Your choice may lead to success or disaster! The adventures you take are a result of your choice. You are responsible because it's your choice. After you make your choice follow the instructions to see what happens to you next. Remember, you cannot go back! Think before you make a move!
The Adventure of the Triathlete
Beep Beep Beep Beep. The alarm goes off on your bed stand and you smack it once. You let out a loud snore to no one in particular to convince yourself that you were sleeping and that this isn’t the beginning of a nightmare.
You yawn and open one eye. “Why am I up so early?”, you think to yourself.
“Why is it STILL so dark out?”
“And cold. And windy.”
“I’m going to need some reason to get out of bed here. What am I supposed to be doing again?”
No matter which sport you choose, it is definitely the least fun right now.
If you choose SWIM, go to SWIM ->
If you choose BIKE, go to BIKE ->
If you choose RUN, go to RUN ->
“Fine,” you think, “It’s a swim. I can get to the pool in 20 minutes”. You swing your legs out of bed and sit pensively. Since you won’t shower until you finish your swim, you toss on your clothes for work, march downstairs in a stupor and drive down to the pool. It’s very dark out and cold. The thought of the cold water and the pending punishment of swimming 100 repeats until you’re ready to hurl is frightening. Swimming is definitely the least fun.
At last, you’ve managed to get your zombie self into your suit and into the pool. The heart attack from the cold water never came – instead you’ve woken up a bit. You push off for your warmup and feel the water slither over your body like a sexy glove. Your movement is poetry – your graceful “low gear” for warmups is a vision to behold (in your opinion) as you cut through the water. The rhythm takes over and you tickle the edges of meditation. “This is definitely the most fun sport,” you think to yourself. The whooshing noise of the water silences the world and wraps you in its cocoon. Stroke. Stroke. Stroke. If only that main set wasn’t coming….
CONTINUE TO THE INTERVALS ->
“Aha! The bike. My old friend,” you think to yourself. You throw on a pair of chamois that you’re not sure is clean – and you’re not sure you want to know. After stubbing your toe twice getting around the stuff cluttering the floor around your trainer, you nearly convulse when you switch the fan on and the cold air blows across your still sleeping skin. The heart rate monitor is registering you as ‘near death’ as you start your warmup. Fortunately, your heart rate bounces up happily, you start to warm, and eye the clock as it nears the first interval. You start bopping to the music in the earbuds, close your eyes, and let the strength pour into your muscles. A meditation and exercise, all in one. Yoga with cojones. Definitely the most fun sport. Here comes that first interval.
CONTINUE TO THE INTERVALS->
The run day. Curses. As you put on tights, gloves, and the crowning touch – the headlamp. The very picture of ridiculous. Out the front door and the cold slaps you in the face viciously. You realize you are breathing heavily and you haven’t even started yet. “This is going to suck,” you think. Running is definitely the least fun. Out the drive, round the corner, it’s too late to turn back. A couple of minutes later, your legs are buzzing and your breathing is settling in. Striding confidently across the ground as the trees whistle to your sides, you fall into your rhythm. Your vision narrows, and you enter The Time Suck.
You awake for a second time in one day to find yourself running. You shoot a glance down at you watch and realize you’ve been out for a half hour. It felt like 5 minutes. With a wry smile, you turn around to head back home. As you lift your head, you see the sun trickling over the top of the trees, dumping orange and blue clouds over the horizon like a spilt paint can. The first morning birds flock by and you. Feel. Fantastic. You are light, fast, and totally in control. Running is the most fun.
You are a mile from home and hit the finishing touch. The hill. The final stretch. All the feelings of lightness and speed seem to evaporate instantly as the pitch comes on. 10 strides up the hill and your calf barks like a rabid dog chewing mesquite tobacco. 10 more strides and a distinct knot starts throbbing in your left hamstring. As your breathing gets heavier, it feels like your diaphragm is twerking your rib cage. Walking is quitting. Quitting is pointless. You gut it. Almost there. Running is the toughest sport. Every heavy step is pain. There is no coasting. There is no floating. There is only running and stopping. No choices. The moment before the blood lasers erupt from ears and white light shoots from your pupils, you summit the hill. You’re home.
CONTINUE TO THE END ->
1 down. OK, that wasn’t exactly comfortable. But I can do this set.
2 down. Really wishing I hadn’t eaten that burrito last night.
3 down. How is it that the times in between are getting shorter but they are the same length? Is the clock broken? What the hel…whoops, time for #4.
4 down. This is really getting uncomfortable. How many is 15 minus 4? Oh geez.
5. 6. This is definitely the toughest sport. Only a super human could withstand this punishment.
7. 8. 9. This sucks.
10. Hm, that one wasn’t TOO bad.
11. Oh yeah it was.
12. Maybe not? Am I getting stronger?
13. I AM getting stronger! Bring it!!!!
14. Brought!!! One more!!!!
Cool down. Yeah.
CONTINUE TO THE END ->
The soap you use could make a fish monger smell like a department store and clean the chrome off a jet engine, but it can’t remove the lingering odor of sweat and chlorine. You feel flushed and don’t really completely cool off until you already have your clothes on and manage to sweat into the back ever so slightly. All the while, the endorphins have flooded your body in victory, making you feel unbelievably happy, chill, and powerful all at once. Who else can work so hard for such minimal gain? If you even gain anything! Most of the time it feels like you just do these mornings so you don’t get slower!
“This is definitely the hardest sport,” you think to yourself. And you’re right – it’s triathlon. It’s supposed to be hard. And the most fun.