One of my friends joined our ranks this summer and is an official TRIWIFE. (I’m so proud). Actually, I’m so proud of both of them. We’re talking a late bloomer here people…I asked Holly to share her experience and tell us what it’s like to be a newbie and how we can help. Enjoy her story and be sure to let her know what tidbits of information will make her life easier. Let’s let her learn from our experience…
HOOKED ON TRIATHLONS – THE MAKING OF A TRIWIFE
Let me start out by saying that my husband is not a 20-something athlete who is able to easily run a marathon with little training or who can eat what he wants and not put on a few pounds…He is a middle-aged man who really hasn’t been terribly active most of his life. Oh, he’s been a cyclist, but if he didn’t get a ride in on the weekend, it wasn’t’ the worst thing in the world. He hadn’t swam since he was a kid and his only running experience was errands on weekends!
Then, two summers ago, I found a Triathlete magazine on his desk. (Is this the triathlete version of Playboy?) I glanced through it and noticed some pages dog-eared, which meant he was interested in learning more…But, he still hadn’t said anything to me. I knew what triathlons were literally – swim, bike, and run – but not that there were multiple distances nor that doing them was a lifestyle unto itself.
Our friends range the gamut from totally non-athletes to Ironman triathletes. While my husband kept hearing these friends talk about doing triathlons, he’d say, “wow that sounds great, good for you”, and that was that. Then, one of them asked if he wanted to come and see him race and being the nice guy and good friend that he is, he couldn’t say no. So, he went to watch and support his friend. He became intrigued and you know how I knew? He called to tell me that some of the guys were going out after the race to talk race schedules and was it okay if he tagged along…
At first he overdid everything – he pushed too hard and too fast and suffered multiple aches and pains. Perhaps the wisdom that comes with age was on his side, as he instinctively seemed to know to pull back and that he might need some sage advice from veteran triathletes. Swimming was definitely his big challenge, especially open water. While we live close to the ocean and have a wonderful free beach for the residents of our community close by, we have never once swam at the beach. Oh, when we’ve taken beach vacations, we’ve frolicked in the water, but who really goes swimming?
We fortunately live close to both a gym and YMCA that have pools and he soon discovered it wasn’t enough to have taken those lessons at the Y when he was 6. Swimming for survival and swimming as a racer are two totally different strokes! So, guess what? Who would have thought my adult husband would be taking swimming lessons!!! I know I can stay away from all the Speedo jokes, as you guys have already been there, done that, but seriously, UGH….
Running was fairly easy for him to get started, but he quickly realized that pay back was a bitch and all those years of inactivity did not come cheap. But, he worked hard and progressed to the point where he was able to stay upright after a run. So, after feeling comfortable with swimming and acquiring running legs, he started small with several local triathlons and progressed to his first half this summer. Well….He had fun, finished (not at the top of his class mind you, but hey, we were both thrilled none-the-less), and loved the emotion of it all. He even asked a friend to join us for breakfast to discuss the race. Oh, I do have to ask – does it always rain for triathlons? I have been to two races now and it has rained both days…
What has changed in our lives since we’ve entered this new world?
- Well, he carved out a bit more space for himself in the basement next to the trainer that was already there for his bike.
- I’ve gotten to be better friends with the UPS driver, as more gear arrives each week and I hear, this will only grow.
- I’ve learned that a “kit” means something totally different to a triathlete than it does to me. Is this just the beginning of my word confusion?
- We’re slowly becoming one of those couples who spend a lot of time with other triathletes, where the wives sit across from each at dinner and chat, while the husbands do the same – every once in a while joining into our conversation – never happens the other way around I have to say…
For now, I can honestly say that it’s all good. I’ve never seen my husband so happy or enthusiastic about anything in a long time; he’s interested in nutrition and ingredients – he’s actually reading labels; and he’s lost 15 pounds. But, I realize that all could change quickly and probably has already started. He’s asking around about hiring a coach, inviting fellow triathletes to dinner, and he’s even signed up for his first full distance race next year. I’m guessing this indicates he’s hooked on triathlons now and so I’m asking myself, what am I in for? Seriously, people, WHAT AM I IN FOR?
Of note: I need to work on my picture skills. I failed to get a finish picture at both of the races I attended…
Sherry is one of the TriWivesClub and LifeDoneWell co-founders and contributes to multiple blogs. She is a former co-owner of the California Apparel News and had a career in the healthcare industry. Her passions include traveling, real food, the environment, and animal rescue/welfare. She lives a healthy lifestyle and has been a vegetarian since 1987. She and her husband are parents to two rescue pups and reside in Connecticut.