Sunday, September 21, 2008

I'm not worthy

Last night my wife and I went over to Lake Hefner to help out at an aid station for the Redman Triathlon. The aid station was manned (women-ed) by my running club. We chose to go late because there were not many names on the list of volunteers for the afternoon-evening shifts. 

So we got there about 7 PM. We had a steady stream of runners come through until 9 PM! So here's the amazing thing. These people started swimming at 6 AM!!! Holy Shit, Are you kidding me? These people had been in motion for well over 12 hours and not just one activity, 3 different (very f-ing different) activities. What the heck is wrong with you triathletes? You are a different breed. 

Oh and when I said "these people" above, I really meant "people". These were not super-fit, super-trimmed, amazingly toned bow-down-and-worship celebrity athletes. These were everyday people who were doing this amazing event. Form this point on in this post I will never refer to them as "people" again. These were athletes. True athletes. Real athletes. They were suffering pain and joy, depression and overwhelming happiness. It was a showcase of emotions and a panoramic view into the souls of strangers. If you want to see the true "self" of someone, study them at mile 20 of the marathon portion of a full triathlon. They are laid bare and defenseless, no bullshit, no makeup, no games. These athletes were laying their souls on the stage and letting it play. Amazing.

I am NOT a triathlete. I am a runner, that's it. It feels insignificant now to say that I have run marathons. I love marathoning. It is my sanctuary and my joy. When I am in a marathon I feel at home and alive. This is not going to change. I feel like I've seen the top of the mountain now though. A new door has been opened. I hope it's not just my macho-man-brain that is reacting to watching this. I don't think it is. Whatever it is, I feel a desire to become one of these athletes. To lay my soul on the alter of endurance and see how I fair (Whoa that's deep, or BS, can't tell). 

Only one freaking problem. I can't swim! I'm no expert but I think that's important. I believe I can fix that though. I've got time. I need to qualify for Boston first, one goal at a time, but I now have another nagging pull at my heart. I need that. 

Thanks for listening.


JenZen said...

I think it would be great to do a tri too, but alas - I'm a terrible swimmer as well. Maybe one with a short swim...hmmm...

I LOVE seeing "normal" people do these things too. It's so inspiring!!

Southbay Girl said...

Willie...I've always wanted to do a tri-but the swim has always been my nemesis. It's not that I can't swim-I can. But I really don't like to swim, my asthma REALLY gets worse swimming, and the whole swimming in the ocean thing really freaks me out because I had a VERY bad experience surfing-I got pounded in waves so bad I didn't know which way was up and got lost in the wave-scary fucking shit! SO it's going to take me alot to get me to swim in the ocean-a lake tri-I'm so there!! I'll do the breast stoke my favorite stroke!!!
Biking is fine and so is the running, so I guess I'm 2/3 of the way thru. But I do agree it's awesome to see 'Normal" people out there doing a tri. A friend of mine has been trying to get me to do tri's....but that damn swim!

Sarah said...

You know, I have heard SO MANY people say that after they watch a triathalon they are hooked and are ready for the challenge. I considered doing a tiny sprint-triathalon this summer, but alas, like you, I cannot swim! I could probably gimp by with a dogpaddle and a backstroke, but I would die by the end!

Well, are you getting super pumped for for Spirit of Survival marathon coming up? Where is that race located? How do you feel? You've had some good runs lately.

Hope you have a good day, my friend! Thanks for all the encouragement!

Maryland Girl said...

The tri bug is a hard one to kick. I've done one sprint and that was two years ago, but I'm getting the urge again.....

RBR said...

"...but I now have another nagging pull at my heart. I need that."

Ooh! So exciting! I will have to see if Redman 1/2 fits into the schedule next year. I would love to come see you on your home turf, and to RACE with you? Be still me heart!