Sunday, December 30, 2007

Who's to Blame??

This morning I was reading blogs and forums (rather than getting my butt out the door and training) and I read a very moving post on the Slowtwitch Forum.

So who got me into triathlon? Possibly my roommate (very indirectly), probably my run coach (much more directly), could be Simon Whitfield, or maybe even my sister.

I'll tackle this chronologically.

I'm an Olympics junky, I would happily take two weeks off work and watch the Olympic coverage all day. I watched the CBC coverage of Simon Whitfield winning the first ever Olympic triathlon at the Sydney Olympics in 2000 and was swept up in the excitement of it all. Of course I was swept away by every sport that was covered (with the exception ice dance, I get wound up by all the Olympic sports, even curling). It never occured to me at the time that I could actually do this sport, just that it was cool.

Skip forward a few years to the fall of 2003. My roommate had some friends in from out of town and the basement suite suddenly felt incredibly small and I needed to get out. I walked to Kits Community Centre and looked through one of the calendars for the 2004 programs and thought about signing up for something. Pottery didn't look that interesting, dancing held no interest for me, running looked sort of interesting though. I had no desire to run a marathon or even a 10km race but I was getting bored of ultimate after more than a decade of playing and was looking for something else to keep me in shape so this sounded like the ticket.
The run group coach, Andrew, is big on getting people to have goals to train for so I somehow ended up deciding to run the Vancouver half marathon in May. I still have no idea how or or when this became something I wanted to do, obviously it was Andrew's voodoo mind tricks!
The run actually turned out to be a lot of fun. I missed my time goal by a minute but three of my very good friends came to cheer me on which more than made up for it. Having missed my time goal meant I really had to sign up for another half and I succeeded in breaking two hours at the Fall Classic in November. I was definnitely hooked on this running business!

My sister moved to Penticton (I can't remember exactly when) and as we're very close friends I visit her fairly frequently. In the summer of 2004 I was there in late August, right at the same time as Ironman. I had very little idea what the race was all about but am big on spectacle so I borrowed my brother-in-law's bike and rode down to see the swim. I just missed the swim start, so I stuck around to watch the athletes exit the water and was thrilled to hear the announcer say the name of some I recognized - Andrew Tuovenin, my run coach. Now that I had someone to cheer for watching the race became way more interesting.

My sister lives just off the race course so I'd take a break from playing with my nephew to cheer on Andrew as he headed out along South Main on the bike course and then back in along Skaha Lake Road. I caught him as he was heading out on the run then I had to head back home to Vancouver.

The whole Ironman thing struck me as very cool (no way I could ever do it!) and got me thinking about triathlon so when, at the end of the fall 2004 running session, I overheard Andrew saying he was starting a tri club I was very interested. I emailed him and asked if the fact that I was a slow biker and swam like a rock would make me a bad candidate for this tri club business. He said I'd fit in no problem and the rest is history.

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