Never Too Big to Tri

author : Michael
comments : 9

It seems that the question arises most everywhere I go and it is usually comes from a 210-pound pot-bellied chain smoker. “Aren’t you to big to be doing triathlons?”

by Michael Pate

It seems that the question arises most everywhere I go and it is usually comes from a 210-pound pot-bellied chain smoker. “Aren’t you to big to be doing triathlons?” Well, my answer is no. We all come to a point in life that some call a “defining moment.” It is different for some people, take the example of Mark Davis -  – it was not being able to close the safety bar on a roller coaster. For others, it is a doctor’s visit and for others, realizing that their career has gotten in the way of staying physically fit.
 So somewhere along the way you made a decision to train for a triathlon and you need a starting point.
***If you have not been active, go see your general physician. Be honest with him and let him know you want to start training for a triathlon. After you get his blessing you will be more confident about undertaking this daunting challenge.***

 1. Where should you start? I suggest starting the morning after the physician gives you the ok. The excuse, “I am not a morning person,” won’t cut it. You are a morning person now! I believe that for most people you will find that at five a.m. there will be less to distract you. Make a commitment that you are going to get up and exercise for the next month and after about the third week, it should start to become a habit. In an article I once read, it stated that you should lay your workout clothes out the night before and I would have to agree. If you get up in the morning and you can’t find something that you think is imperative for your workout, you will use this as an excuse for not working out.
 2. Keep a workout journal! On that first morning, come back and write down how long you exercised, how far you went, and how you felt. I suggest you write down your feelings because when you look back on them, you will just smile at what you were feeling and thinking when you first started.
 3. Set realistic short-term goals that will allow you to achieve a series of small steps and can lead you in the direction of your long term goals. Don’t worry about the days when you have an “off day” and you don’t meet the goal when you expected. Just keep striving to meet it.
 4. Find people around you who will positively support you and your goals. Don’t let someone being negative set you back. Negative people would like nothing more than to see you fail. On the other hand, positive friends will help build you up and look at life in a realistic and upbeat perspective.
 5. Realize that you have started a journey that you want to last a lifetime. It has probably taken you a good while to get to your current physical state, so don’t think that in just a couple of weeks you be like you used to be. If you push yourself or train to hard, you will end up injuring yourself and sitting on the sidelines. Injuries will occur in the fittest of athletes, but are more likely to occur in an unfit athlete who overtrains. When you start, you have to remember that you are building a foundation that you will be able to build on for years to come.
 6. Find a balance! Many times we tend to try to be consumed with one area of our lives, after all, that is usually why we have become physically unfit. Don’t jeopardize your spouse, family, or job with your new hobby. If you can find balance in your life, you will be reaching goals in all areas of your life not just in triathlons.
 I don’t care what your current size is. If you have the will to get up and take that first step toward changing your life, it is a step in the right direction. It all comes down to making the commitment to start from your present level of fitness and begin the slow process of improvement. Every individual is different in the way genetics has either blessed you or cursed you. You take what you have and you go with it. It may take you a long time to get to that first sprint, or it may be attainable after only a few months, but if you want it bad enough, you will hold your head up and proudly train on.
 I once thought the goal of completing a sprint triathlon was way out of my reach. I have come to realize, however, that no matter what your weight, height, gender or race, we are all fighting the same demons as everyone else and each individual has the goal of crossing the finish line. Whether you are the first across the finish line or the last, you are a finisher. Triathlon is not just a sport for the elite - it can be a sport for you. By following the practical advice you can find here at Beginner Triathlete, you can accomplish your goal.
 Keep Tri’n
 "To accomplish great things, we must not only act but also dream. Not only plan but also believe." - Anatole France -
 ©2003 When Big Boys Tri


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date: September 2, 2004


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