I completed a sprint triathlon yesterday morning with my best friend.
A quarter-mile swim. A 12-mile bike. Then a 5k run.
I didn’t prepare for it nearly as much as I should have. Prior to the event, I only swam three times and ran two. Not ideal.
The swim was the toughest part by far. My arms were exhausted during the last few laps. Once I got out of the pool, it felt like I won the entire event…despite being like 200 people behind.
We went into the pool one by one, swimming through each lane down and back, then under the rope and into the next lane. We went in based on our swim times. Naturally, I went in with the last group because I assumed I would need to take a few breaks. I made friends in line and we bonded over our lack of ability.
My buddy went in way ahead of me….He had prepared properly. I got into the pool 15 minutes after he got out. Our plan to complete the triathlon together went out the window.
I was feeling insecure coming in because of my lack of training. I feared being surrounded by a bunch of super-athletes judging me for not taking this as seriously as I should’ve. But I learned something powerful yesterday.
There were folks of all kinds of shapes, sizes, ages, and capabilities competing. Here’s the lesson I gathered from seeing all these wonderful people do their thang:
There will always be a shit ton of people who are way better than we are at something. There will always be a shit ton of people who are way worse than we are at that same thing. It doesn’t make sense for us to compare ourselves to either group.
We should learn from and be inspired by those ahead of us and help and teach those behind us. We need only compare ourselves to who we were in the past. Am I better than I was last month? Last week? Yesterday?
When I was in line for the swim, I met an 82-year old who has done a ton of these events. I’ll leave you the advice he left me.
If you’re not having fun, you might as well stay home.82-year old badass