Recently, I had a friend mention they really enjoyed an article I wrote about a year ago and would like to see it again. I do enjoy making my friend happy so the following is that article.
Transitions. Life is full of them. I am learning, as a newbie triathlete, that they are almost as dreaded in this sport as they are in real life. We figure out our swim time, bike time and run time and often forget about the transition time. I am beginning to think transition time in triathlons is like the last .2 of a marathon – often forgotten, almost always a bite in the butt at the end.
But transition need not be that way. It need not be the bane of our existence. As we change from one thing to another it can be the source of great comfort and happiness. As I make the transition into taking on more triathlons and enjoying the new and exciting rush of entering a sport that I know so little about, I could be filled with dread. I know I sometimes get frustrated with all of the rules. In running, you put on your shoes (sometimes not even those), line up at the start and go. Triathlons require much more planning, much more preparedness. There is simply so much more to know. Yet I welcome the change.
This past weekend I competed in my first Ironman 70.3 in Boise, ID. For the uninitiated, that is 1.2 miles of swimming, 56 miles of cycling and 13.1 miles of running. Aside from a little wind on the bike course, the weather somehow shifted and changed perfectly for me along the way; warm when I wanted it to be, cloudy when I needed it to be. The Idaho Beef Council was out supporting me and some 75 other members of Team Beef on the course, which was an unbelievably fantastic boost whenever I needed it. The camaraderie was great amongst everyone competing regardless of whom they were racing for. Rarely is such a transition so smooth.
Most transitions in life are like when I went from the swim to the bike. With my feet freezing from the 52-degree water, I thought the pain in my toes would go away soon on the bike. I did not realize the pain was from the spare handlebar caps I put in my shoes and forgot to take out. But I soon figured out what the cause of my problem was and fixed it. That is like most transitions in life. Problems are presented, usually painful ones, and only after trial and error do we come to a solution.
Presented with these transitions we know we must go through them to get to what waits on the other side. We must persevere and push forward, or the next leg of our journey will never begin. The best way to do so is to ignore distractions, focus on only what is needed in order to move forward and then do just that.
Afterward, the transition period in life seems just like it does in triathlon- a small and annoying part of the overall journey that we soon forget about.