Remembering My Journey to Become a Triathlete

triathleteIt was in 2008 when I had gone to see the London triathlon for the first time. All I can recall now is that after watching the stamina of the triathletes compete against each other in what I thought was the most electrifying game that I had ever seen, I could feel the rush of adrenaline in me. It was that day when I had decided that this is the sport that I was waiting for. All the stamina training that I was doing those days (my gym instructor Dave had pushed me to do that for some unknown reason) was of no use if I cannot participate in at least one triathlon event in my life.

Within a few days I started gearing up for training myself for triathlon. Those who are not very familiar with this three stage sport, let me tell them a little about this. In this sport one has to do swimming, cycling and running continuously in immediate succession. This means that I was required to be trained on all three wings simultaneously. Now there’s where I faced the first hurdle.

The essential gears that are required to start the training for triathlon included a long list of items – some of them being pretty expensive. For the swimming part of it, I was required to get swim suits, swimming cap and goggles and for the running part I needed a good pair of shoes as my gym shoes wouldn’t have sufficed. It was the cycling gear that seemed to burn a hole in my pocket.

First of all, I needed a good racing bike. Along with that I needed cycling shorts, a helmet and a pair of cycling shoes. Finally to combat an event of a flat tyre, I needed a flat kit bag as well. Kevin, my trainer had suggested a pair of sunglasses and digital sports watch as well, but I did not consider buying them as I had already busted my budget by then and was wondering where I would manage the money from.

I had to start my training and I was still trying my luck to borrow the deficit money from friends. I knew I would not get much support from my family as both my parents did not pay the highest regards to any of my training activities. It suddenly occurred to me that I could borrow the deficit 650 pounds from online loan sites. I remember my best pal Joshua doing the same when he badly wanted to get the tickets for the Aerosmith concert in London in 2007.

I checked the internet and found that there were many sites that offered short term payday loans at pretty decent rates of interest. I could borrow all the money that I needed to complete the set of my training gear. I found that these loan sites have the option of sending an agent of theirs at your home or making a phone call by their agent to you for the purpose of verification. The whole process was so simple and so uncomplicated! I received the loan of £650 in matter of no time.

The best part was that during the entire process (which was not at all very lengthy), it never occurred to me that I was the party who was borrowing the money. After hearing the purpose behind taking the loan, the agent Benjamin treated me as if I had just got the gold medal in London Triathlon that year. They made me feel so special that I almost forgot that I had not even started my training. Really amazing experience of taking a loan it was!

Anyways, let me come back to the tale of my training. Under the training of Kevin, I started my triathlon training. The crux of the entire training program was to increase my stamina and endurance along with toning the body to take up the challenge of the three sports back to back. Kevin ensured that I do not miss out on my classes during the weekdays and that is why he would not schedule any workout of more than 45 minutes during the weekdays. It was during the weekends when he would make me slog hard.

As this blog is not meant to be a training manual for budding triathletes, I would refrain myself from describing the entire curriculum that I went through. All I can say here is that while I trained for becoming a triathlete, I had to train in each event separately.

Finally the day came when I was taking part in a triathlon event. It was held by a local triathlon club in South East London. I remember I could not sleep the night before. All my training, all the hard work that I had put in for all these months was finally going to get me a place on the tracks of triathlon. I did not win that event. For that matter, I was one of the last finishers, but after participating in that event I could understand what I lacked and where do I need to improve.

While I had not chosen to be a professional triathlete earlier, but my love for the sport and the guidance and advises of eminent triathletes like Steve Worthington and Chris Hayward (I had the opportunity to meet them at local club events) I made up my mind to do professional training for triathlon and participate in the professional events as well.

Today, after winning multiple local events and after having participated in the London Triathlon games for the last couple of years, when I look back at those days of hardships and the bone breaking struggle that I had to do to get myself fit for this great sport, a sense of satisfaction and triumph rules over me. The game of triathlon has taught me the three most valuable lessons of my life – there is no alternative to hard work, if you want something you should stay committed to that, and finally, if you believe in yourself, nothing is impossible.