If you want to wear those sweet-ass high-riding orange shorts at Hooters, you’d better be prepared to serve your share of rowdy patrons.
In the middle of our daily triathlon-group-text today, Wasky slid in a very simple, yet powerful zinger, “Just enjoy the lifestyle.”
That wisdom materialized as we were discussing which (if any) Ironman Jim and I will be doing this year. Maryland and Louisville are both on the table, and Jim is leaning toward taking the plunge with an attitude of not chasing times and simply . . . enjoying the lifestyle.
So enjoy the lifestyle, huh? Getting up at 5:30 to ride five hours on hilly terrain? Hmm . . . that’s at tough one, but there is so much about triathlon that is awesome.
Like wearing race shirts and other cool gear, for example. I was sporting my Ironman New Orleans 70.3 shirt while raking cups at a water stop on Saturday and received some genuine props from several runners. “Ironman, so cool. I ‘respect’ that, man.” They respect that, and I feel the love, but on some level that makes me feel weird.
Speaking of respect, it sorta reminded me of an awkward incident as I was flying back into Nashville on 4th of July last year. I was jostling in my seat as the flight attendant said something I couldn’t quite hear over the speaker. As we made our descent, I reached up to turn on my overhead light and suddenly everyone around me was clamoring to shake my hand and saying “Thank you” with heart felt looks of respect. I uncomfortably responded with “You’re welcomes,” but had no idea why. Later I found out she said, “Will anyone who has served this great country please turn on your overhead light so we can thank you on this day of independence.”
Man, did I feel like a jack-ass.
Anyway, yeah, triathlon does bring joy to my life. Cool people, with passion and drive. I’m a dreamer, so it’s nice to be around freaks who push the limits.
And there’s no denying that training forces you to be a better steward of your body. You just can’t abuse yourself, or workouts and races become nightmares.
But, do I enjoy the lifestyle enough to suffer the pain of 140.6 miles under a hot Louisville sun?
That is the question . . . and the answer lies somewhere in my desire to train, and whether the lifestyle means wearing cool clothes or actually hitting the pavement. Do I love it enough to reduce the pain of the race by training harder?
We’ll see. Ironman New Orleans was not fun, but I wasn’t ready. The next few weeks will go a long ways in determining my answer on Louisville. My decision to enjoy the lifestyle is approaching a deadline.