Monday 28 October 2013

Running Is My Mistress

   So it's with some mixed and guilty feelings that I write this. You see I began this "transitional" journey from skill based sports like skateboarding and snowboarding to endurance sports just over a year ago. It was through the gateway drug of triathlon that I entered this world. Originally triathlon caught my eye at the 2012 Olympic Games. I was a dinosaur (and broken one at that), in skateboarding and was looking for new life to breath back into my athletics when it became clear to me. I had dabbled in short distance running for a long time, swam in middle school and had been a mountain biker for over 10 years. The triad of these three sports, plus the ability to race directly against your own age group made triathlon a very appealing option. I put a lot of time, effort and much of myself into triathlon training over the last year. I even began this blog as a way to document my progress. I only actually raced 2 triathlons this season, being sidelined from a third with quadriceps tendinitis. I had limited success, completing the first one mid-pack and placing 2nd in the short distance event at the 2013 Canadian Cross Triathlon Championship Series event at Kelso.

Here's where it gets difficult...

   After putting so much of myself into triathlon, all the stress of learning open water swimming and the hours in the bike saddle, I learned something about myself. I discovered where my heart lay. It was with Running all along. I had slowly been realizing it all season, but didn't want to admit it, not even to myself. It just seemed like I would've been admitting wasting all that time with Swimming and Cycling. 

   It began like any other dirty, little secret relationship I suppose. I began seeing Running more often through the week. I found myself thinking of Running more and more and how it made me feel. I didn't dare tell Swimming and Cycling though. It wasn't really any of their business what I was doing when I was with them. I mean we all started this relationship at the same time and had made only a seasonal commitment to each other. Yet I couldn't stop feeling guilty. I was now skipping dates with Swimming to hang out with Running. I was now "using" Cycling for a mere ride to and from work, but caring little about sharing my free time with it. I think Cycling was feeling "used" too. I mean we weren't taking those long rides in the country together like we used to. Now I was disappearing for hours into the woods with Running. It was feeling a lot like a season of "The Bachelor" and I was whittling my way down to my final choice. "Running will you accept this rose?" I asked. I didn't really have to ask though, because I already knew the answer. Yes. Running and I had built a special bond together this year. We had topped the podium numerous times in our very first year together and it was because of Running that I made it to the podium at least once in triathlon. Running was there for me when I just needed to escape the stress of daily life or when I was looking for a good time. Running would spend hours with me, but never seem to mind if I just needed a "quickie". Running helped my find what I was really made of as an athlete and in many ways a person.

   So as I said before, it's with mixed emotions that I say, "Sorry Swimming and Cycling, it's not you, it's me. I mean we can still be friends and hang out, but I just don't want to be serious with triathlon right now. I mean we had fun, right? But you can't confuse a good time with something deep and meaningful like I have with Running. I'm Sorry. Maybe we can still hangout sometime on the weekends..."

   The moral of this story you ask? (I'll just pretend like you asked or cared for that matter) Life is a journey and you never know where it's going to take you. You may have things all mapped out, but sometimes you need to throw the map away and simply go by "feel". Sometimes it's just more fun that way and sometimes, if you're lucky, it can lead you you where you really want to go.


  1. I gotta say, I felt a little jealous of Running the way you wrote about "her".
    Alas, I know what it's like to be so into one sport that the rest of them fall to the wayside. Why be so-so at 3 sports when you can be amazing at 1?
    You're already great and you're going to be even greater.

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