An Unshakable Urge

author : GonnaTriathlon
comments : 4

From smoking like a chimney to triathlon training

I’m one of those people that once they get an idea in their head, they just can’t get it out.

Up until a few years ago, I had never even considered the possibility of competing in a triathlon. I was massively overweight (technically obese), I smoked like a chimney, and I was basically motionless 365 days a year. I’d get out of breath walking up a small hill to get from my car to go to the shop to buy my groceries (which consisted of cake, candy, soft drinks, and burgers).

That (combined with my love of a beer or two) was putting me on the fast lane to an early grave.

This all changed when I quit smoking.

Many of the best and most successful quit attempts are ones that involve a radical lifestyle change at the same time as the quit. As I work in the tobacco cessation industry, I knew that my best chance of quitting was to turn over a new leaf, become a healthier person, and get my butt into gear.

All was well until I started quitting. My mind was racing from the nicotine leaving my body, I wasn’t thinking straight, withdrawal symptoms were kicking in, and I was having all manner of strange thoughts.

I still don’t know where the idea came from…

All of a sudden “being healthier” was going to be defined by me competing in (and completing) a triathlon.

I was determined, unshakable, and convinced that this would be the milestone that signaled the completion of my transformation from heavy to healthy.

I started eating healthier, and I started being more active in my day to day life.

This was nothing too ambitious or drastic at first. It mainly consisted of me leaving the car at home and walking places.

Over time I decided to take up hiking and went on a few reasonably long hikes.

Note: When I say long, I mean long for someone in my condition. What I considered long was probably a walk in the park for most people on this site.

Over time I started to lose the weight and kept up with a reasonably active lifestyle. I didn’t do any sports, I didn’t train or go to the gym, but it was an improvement over what I was like before.

Over this time the goal of completing a Triathlon turned from an imminent challenge into “I’ll do that eventually”.

The years passed, and my health remained “reasonable”. I was not overweight, but I was not super fit either.

Then a few months ago the Triathlon started to call back out to me. I felt a little embarrassed about how enthusiastic I once was (and how little I cared now). The more I thought about it, the more I realized that I needed to get this done.

Fast forward a few months, and here I am today, taking the first step to becoming a triathlete by making myself accountable to the thousands of readers on this website.

I am going to compete in a triathlon.

And as of a few weeks ago, I have finally started training.

Over the next few weeks, months, and maybe even years I will be contributing updates about my journey. I’ll obviously be talking about my training, but I also want to focus more on the mental journey I go through in preparation for my first event.

I plan to share my thoughts, my feelings, the good days, the bad days, and my inspiration (or lack thereof). This series of blog posts when complete should provide a reasonably comprehensive journey from a couch potato, to a real honest to god triathlete.

I look forward to sharing it with you.



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date: August 31, 2017



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