Give It A Tri?

One of the earliest memories I have is in a swimming pool in East Lansing, Michigan. I was pretty sure I was drowning. 

I don't remember the how or the why. The paramedics weren't called. No CPR was performed. Silly as it seems, the incident made me fear the water so much that ten years later my mother finally forced me to take swimming course at the local YMCA to get comfortable in the pool. To this day, if my feet can't touch the bottom of the pool I freak out.

A number of runners I started with a few years ago have moved into the world of running, cycling, and swimming. As someone who is married to a woman who has completed numerous triathlons and has two Ironman-length races under her Fuel Belt, the question of when I will attempt my first triathlon comes up amongst our mutual friends.

The question doesn't bother me. I've pedaled uphill for over 62 miles and have enough mileage under my soles to get me to Tucson and back, so the answer always boils down to my skills in the pool, of which I have none. I long for the day when I can snap on my swim cap, pop on my goggles, and move athletically across a lap pool 25 meters. It's not for lack of trying, but it's hard to find a rhythm when I feel like my lungs are going to collapse as soon as I jump in the water.

When I lived in the Midwest, triathlons seemed like Bigfoot: something that people talk about but are rarely seen. Now that I live near Tempe, there's a race occurring so often you'd think the local economy depends on it. I put a lot of pressure on myself to finally get over my fear of the water. I've come such a long way with my weight loss and activity level. Why not get over this fear paddle a few hundred meters in a man-made lake?

All I can say is stay tuned...