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.