Triathlon – It’s not golf!

I had a great swim the other day, followed immediately by an even better ride. I felt really strong on the bike and was pushing the pace and loving it. It was just one of those days! Triathlon training doesn’t get any better than this – I was feeling strong, it was sunny, I was having fun. Happy days.

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But that’s as good as it gets right? There isn’t that rush, that BUZZ. I can go for a game of golf and be having the shabbiest round, spending more time in the bushes than on the fairway, and then suddenly, from nowhere, comes the perfect shot – right out of the middle, it feels like you never even hit the ball! And it sails straight and long – exactly where you wanted it to go. And right there you get an incredible buzz. You can go home now, and no matter what has happened before and what will happen after, that round was worth it. The perfect moment. Bottle that.

Of course you also get those nightmare moments when you put your ball into the lake for the third time and you could literally break your club. Or you miss that simple six inch putt. Or you put your tee shot (standing in front of the clubhouse) straight out of bounds. Grrr! Extreme emotions.

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So I realised that I miss those “perfect moments”. Triathlon gives me highs and lows but the highs are longer and less intense (as are the lows). I got a 60 min long happy buzz while out riding, followed by a pleasing glow for the next few hours. But every now and then I want that adrenaline kick!

Triathlon training occasionally does give me those moments but it tends to be a negative, like when out riding and a car suddenly turns in front of me, forcing instinctive evasive action followed by “OMG! OMG! OMG!” Or when I’m riding a peaceful open country road and then suddenly, from nowhere, a giant black/white winged beast with an impossibly long and sharp beak is trying to detach my ear from my head. Or I’m doing an open water swim and suddenly see a shadow: “Was that a shadow?” “What was that shadow?” “Where’s that shadow?” “How far from shore am I?” “WaaaAAAH MUMMY!”

What I’d really like is to be in the middle of my 2km swim set and then suddenly, from nowhere, the “perfect pull”! Hand position was exactly right, the catch, the rotation, the glide, OH THE GLIDE! “Did you see it?”. Or on my run, to suddenly feel the “perfect stride”. Knee was up, back leg was fully extended, front leg landed exactly under my body, thrusting effortlessly off the ball of my foot, upper body strong and upright, arms driving, and instantly my pace jumps from 5min/km to 4min/km, training partners are dropped, gone. “Where’d he go?” “What happened?” (on their knees weeping) “Oh, the majesty… the majesty!” (to be read in your best Colonel Kurtz/Marlin Brando voice)

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Yeah, OK. It’s pretty clear that just ain’t gonna happen. I’m going to have to settle for my happy, warm fuzzies after a particularly pleasing session. And THEN, head down to the driving range for a bucket of balls! You RIPPER!!

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