Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Car Wash Confessions

I am a pretty good tipper ... most of the time.  But occasionally, when I don't have singles in my wallet, I fold my dollar over a couple of times, giving the illusion of two or three bucks as I hand my money to the attendant.

Ha!  Who am I kidding?  Those car wash guys know the weight and feel of one dollar as compared to three.  Do I really think I'm getting puttin' one over on 'em?

Go with me here.  I have runner friends who think they are not fast.  I know triathletes who struggle to keep up on the group rides.  And there are plenty of swimmers who make a beeline for the "slow lane" when they come to Masters, then head over to Five Guys for a late lunch.

THEY don't think they are good enough.  They want to slip in and out of their workouts unnoticed because they're not eating right, or pacing right on a tempo run.  And they don't want to race because everyone will know they are SLOW!

Well, I'm here to salute the SLOW today.  The ones who worry that they might finish last in the race.  Those who are scared out of their minds for an open water swim.  The ones who struggle up the inclines and get dropped before the mountain turns upward.  You, my friends are athletes.

This crazy sport called triathlon should bring out the best in all of us.  Unless your last name is Wellington, it's not about winning.  There will always be someone who is faster than you and more fit than you (see Wellington*).  But you are challenging your best self and you are reaching beyond your limits.

Today, celebrate the small victories:  climbing out of bed while it's dark to finish your long run, swimming an additional 200 yards, smoothing out your uphill cadence for a more efficient ride.  You are a triathlete.  Celebrate you!  You are not a fraud.  And you're surely not that measly one dollar being passed off as a ten spot.

The fact is, you're ahead of everyone who doesn't get out of bed to try anything.  And if you think of it that way, look how your race results standings just skyrocketed!  You're working hard to improve yourself.  And as a true athlete, you know that's the real victory anyway.

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