Swim, Bike or Bonk
They say it’s about the taking part, the fun, the atmosphere not the winning that matters.
This has got to be the case for me when it comes to Triathlons.
I started this journey of mine August 2nd 2013 and since then it has been filled with ups, downs, a few falls thankfully not many, romance, love, new friendships, flat tires, some weight loss, some great cheat meals perhaps too many cheat meals lots of time thinking about races mostly about the holy grail which is for me anyway a full Ironman. Many races later and after building up a nice collection of medals none of which was for winning but for taking part I am going to attempt my first full ironman. Mind you I have signed up for a few of them and came very close to going to Germany to compete in Challenge Roth but a sand patch and bad handling or bad tires caused fate to say not this time. Anyway moving swiftly on I find myself in Australia for the first time 3 days away from the start of a full ironman. This is the closest I have every come to starting one and well there’s not turning back now and no doubt in my mind win, lose or draw I am going to enjoy the race.
Well at least the build up to the race. The race itself is a whole other kettle of fish and I will be cursing many people for telling me it was such a good idea to do one.
I would be amiss to not thank the people who got me into this crazy thing called Triathlon. Christophe Roux first got me to sign up for my first triathlon in January of 2014. His exact words were “fuck it just sign up it is not a problem, just do it” and thus started the journey of painful joy.
Honestly I don’t regret one moment of it well that’s a lie but let’s stick to the positive side of things.
I am going to just thank a few people who have been there along the way and in one way or another motivated and pushed me to get to where I am now.
All of you should know I thank you now but from about 7am December 3rd I will be singing another tune about you all. At least for the 15-17hrs it will take to finish this race.
So thanks Christophe for the first push, to Amani who did my first race with me and jumped in the wonderfully delightful Hudson River on August 3rd 2014 one year and one day after attending my first Flywheel class.
Funny that it all started with one 45min indoor cycling class.
From there I not only met the girl of my dreams I managed to attend 6 of her FlyBarre classes a week for 6 months until she agreed to meet me for coffee to discuss triathlon training, genius I was and now, well, we are married so I must have done something right.
From there I met many a cool person, one in particular, who if it wasn’t for him I would have packed this race in a couple of weeks ago when the work life balance was a little too much and I came down with yet another cold. He being Rory Buck. You started off as a pain in the ass in the swimming pool with all your words of wisdom, talk of consistency and logic, to being a close & dear friend and yes the consistency BS pays off. Trust me I should know I haven’t been nearly as much as I should have and well yeah I have suffered as a result.
The list is long so bare with me, but take some joy in the fact that although it may feel like I am going on for about 17hrs it’s not and in fact I will be suffering more than this during the race. 🙂
From Rory we go to one of the most brutally honest human beings I have ever met. It is simple if the truth hurts don’t ask this man his opinion because he is as brutally honest as he is brutally powerful on the bike. Nice and easy is something Alien to Christian Henn. Aka Chuck Norris. If I have stuck around in this sport it is partially because of the support he has given me and more so for the fear of being berated and harassed on the cycling track for not doing enough or pushing hard enough therefore I learned his harsh voice can not be avoided and it is merely better to shut up put your head down and cycle. Honestly though it wasn’t the fact that I thought I could do this race that has gotten me to this stage but actually when I heard the words from Christian when he said “you know you will finish this race you will just suffer like shit but you will finish I know that” when I realized he believed I would it gave me confidence to think I could and from there I carried on. Fool Hardy or not it doesn’t matter.
From one tough German to another or another two I think this is why they used to call a certain cycle ride a while back the bully ride comes the Kaiser aka Stefan Spies. My first triathlon coach and the one man who put up with a lot of my nonsense and crazy ideas and even crazier questions. We were on a great great track until my injury and until he moved away, and those Tuesday morning group brick session were legendary.
Which leads me onto the other tough German who I like to call Arnie to his face and many worse things behind his back when I am trying to keep up with him. My Strava file for NAS will never be the same after May 20th and you know it. I refer to the practical joker Christian Berglengher, I never know if I have spelt his name right. All I can say is trying to cycle with him is difficult to say the least and at other times unreasonable but damn fun. If only I could get my running shoes back from his dog that would be great. You know when you have had a tough cycle when you walk away from the ride barefoot and drive home numb from the quads down.
These haven’t been the only people I have bothered on my journey. I have to say a very special mention to the Wellness Brothers Sean and Ryan. I met Sean a few years ago when I first started Flywheel where he would look at me in awe about how I would smash him in the sprints. Ever since then he has used all of his tricks to beat me in sports and it’s not worked. But seriously they have helped me to no end and kept me on the straight and narrow as much as is humanly possible with me anyway. And I guess they must really not like Rohan, because they introduced me to him and he became my triathlon coach. Now if anyone knows me they know I am un-coachable, I rarely listen and go off on a tangent a lot of the time but he’s always been patient with me and stuck it out. Should anything not go to plan tomorrow and I bonk out it would not be down to bad coaching just a bad Panda.
But like I said at the beginning… win, lose or draw I am going to give it my all and celebrate my birthday the next day with the mother of all cheat meals.
Lastly, I honestly would not be here in Australia doing this race if it was not for Becky My Heart Soltani. She is to blame for it all, she chose this race and pushed me to do it and I can’t thank her enough for it. I regret none of it and I am honored she is my wife and we are getting the opportunity to do this race together.