I’ve said it before but it bears repeating. Triathlon training makes me feel like a kid. Ok, sometimes it also makes me feel like an old lady with achy hips but mostly, it just makes me happy.
Once a year, I compete in a swim meet as part of a parent’s relay. It’s 25M freestyle so even if I wasn’t training for triathlons, I’d still make through. At this year’s race, I realized how instantly I am transformed back to my 10 year old self. Growing up swimming, I must have done a million drills; A million starts; A million turns. And by doing things with such repetition, 30 years later, they are just engrained. There is no thinking. There is no conscious effort – my body just goes. (Thank you to coaches, Laccetti, Mott, Kleedorfer, and Schmalzriedt).
There’s a little girl that shows up when I swim and when I bike. There’s a carefree, childlike happiness that comes over me — even when it’s hard. It makes me feel young. It reminds me that there is joy in exercise. It reminds me to be thankful for the 30+ years I have had as an athlete. And it’s a reminder too on the days where I’d rather not train that deep down, I love it and always have.
But what about running, you ask? Running is different. Running is something I ‘conquered’ as an adult. It doesn’t bring me back to happy childhood days, it makes me proud of the woman athlete I’ve become.