Challenges · Randomness

The perils of not listening when spoken to – putting the ‘try’ into triathlon

I am not entirely sure how it happened, but in a few short days – four, to be exact – I will be lining up at the start of a triathlon.  And then, in theory at least, I shall be ‘go-ing’ after the official ‘Ready…Set….’ is hollered.

I somehow got talked in to spending my Valentine’s Day a non-flattering shade of red by the lovely Tarryne from Change One Woman. When I say ‘talked in to’, more rightly I mean she stood in my doorway and said something about it and I was being a bad boss and not listening in the slightest and I am now paying for my rudeness with my body, as I just vaguely nodded as though I was all in when really I was probably wondering how far away lunch was.  It’s hard to come back from that sort of inauspicious beginning.

Before those who know me well pass out with shock, you can rest assured that it’s only a short-distance-tri.  What the organisers like to term a ‘Fun Distance’.

Hmmm.  I’m not sure what sort of weird masochistic hobbies they like to indulge in in their spare time, but we clearly have different definitions of ‘fun’.  My version is far more likely to involve wine, cheese-related goods, and the couch..


That being said, we’ve been remarkably committed on the training front, if I do say so myself.  Granted, we are more than a little driven by the fact that if we don’t train, we will embarrass ourselves horribly on the day.  I know they say that the time isn’t the biggest deal, but I have to presume the event organisers would like to go home at some stage before dusk. Waiting for stragglers can’t be on their list of fun things to do (although given the aforementioned definition of ‘fun’, who knows).

By ‘we’, I mean the team of weirdos I love and who are my cheerleaders and fellow Tri-ers as we take on this challenge.  They are awesome. Women who are stronger than they know (yes Moos, I’m talking about you), and who have charged ahead with this absurdly awesome plan with abandon, cos that’s just how they roll.  There have been moments of “I can’t do this” from each of us at various stages, only to be drowned out by the chorus of “you can, Jelly Legs, we know you can!”  It works.  There may also have been the odd “suck it up, Princess” uttered, but only when truly necessary.

We have of course had more than our fair share of ‘incidences’. Each one of us has managed to accidentally pull the Emergency Stop button on the treadmill, causing the Travellator of Torture to come to an abrupt and potentially undignified stop for the user. And those bike seats? SO not designed for comfort. Our recent cycle sessions have resulted in far greater discussion of our collective butt pain than is usual for water cooler meetings.

All whining aside, we’ve been so lucky to have support from a great group of people – Tracey from Jetts Gym is awesome, and she sorted out memberships for us so we had no excuse.  Jetts is a fantastic supporter of Heart Kids NZ, and we’re doing this as part of our giving back to this brilliant organisation (I am biased, yes, but it’s still true!), so we can’t thank Jetts enough.

Speaking of Jetts and supporters (and loved weirdos), there’s Jordan.  He’s our perkily persistent, unfailingly straight-up and wholeheartedly enthusiastic trainer.  He’s also impressively good at his job.  As he often has to remind us.  We all agree we love and loathe him in equal measures.  I think he’s taken us on as his pet project, and am sure sometimes he wonders what he did to deserve us, a motley gaggle of morning-hating coffee addicts who do nothing but complain, mock each other and him and generously give him (unsolicited) advice on women.

We have charitably provided him with a world of priceless insight over the various meanings and interpretations of the female “fine”.  Spoiler alert, young man – it seldom means things are actually fine.  Do not, I repeat, do NOT advance down this path!

You’d think he’d be getting this after five weeks of gasped ‘fine’s’ in response to his sprightly Scottish-accented “and how are you all doing”s as we clock another km on the stupid treadmill and will him to step into arms reach so we can smack him.  If only our arms weren’t jelly, that is.

It’s an amusing situation, being trained by someone who was born in the same year that I headed off to university.  That being said, his music taste is so-far acceptable (with the exception of some ‘sick dubstep sets’ he was on about.  No. Just no).  And discussing the new 50 Shades of Grey movie with someone who might plausibly be asked to show ID to get in was quite entertaining.

In all seriousness though, he’s been fantastic. I am very grateful he’s taken us and our training so seriously, as I don’t think we did at first.  He’s made us believe we can do this, and that is half the challenge right there.

As Susie pointed out to me this very afternoon, yesterday I actually ran a reasonable distance. Given that when we started I couldn’t manage more than a brisk walk with the odd jog-type shuffle, this is in fact a very cool development. I’d give myself a high five but a) that is just clapping, and b) am not sure I can lift my arms that high at the moment.

Anyway, the Tri is on this weekend. Pretty sure I haven’t done enough training.  Equally sure I will be a wreck Saturday afternoon.  But I am also pretty certain I will feel good having done it.  And proud of myself.  And loved and supported by the awesome friends and family coming down to cheer us along.  I am grateful to be doing this with these mad women who have kept me going (commitment to such endeavors has never been my strong point, so I totally credit them with keeping me motivated, and I certainly couldn’t have even made it this far without them).  They are inspiring, and it’s been a (twisted sort of) pleasure taking this challenge on with them.

So, lovely people, wish us luck.  And if you’d like to show your support by making a donation to Heart Kids, the whole reason we’re doing this, that would be much appreciated too.  If there are no further posts following this one, you can assume I am still out on the track.  Send searchers.  I’ll probably be at the ice-cream shop.



5 thoughts on “The perils of not listening when spoken to – putting the ‘try’ into triathlon

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