Sunday, September 11, 2011

Why I Love Triathlon

It’s been a while since my last post where I posed the question ‘Why Do A Triathlon’ and received incredibly heartfelt and inspiring responses. Thank you so much. Your comments, and the events of the past two weeks have caused me to dig deep and truly examine my motivations for doing triathlons.

My motivations now are different from two years ago, when I loved the idea of Triathlon, but had not done one. Two years ago, I thought I was completely cured from the autoimmune illness that had put a serious damper on the previous 10 years of my life. I had been medication-free for over a year, and running 5 minute miles – feeling strong.  Triathlon sounded like an extreme physical challenge that would be my way of saying ‘Hey Life, I’m back!’. I imagined my healed, new body pushing through the limits of endurance, something my sick body could not do. I said to myself, ‘I will know without a doubt that I am strong and whole again when I finish my first triathlon’ (More background HERE).

Well, they don’t call Henoch Schonlein Purpura ‘chronic’ (lifelong, incurable) for no reason.

When I actually completed my first mini-triathlon ('Hoohathlon'), I was sick – in early stages of a relapse. During my first Sprint triathlon, and my first Olympic distance swim the following day, I had barely recovered from yet another relapse (Also read 'First do no harm').  Both at the Hoohathlon and Sprint triathlon, I was happy beyond words that I had crossed the Finish Line, but this happiness was tinged with a bit of sadness. This wasn’t how I imagined it would be.

I had imagined a ‘comeback Grace’ sending a powerful message to myself and others with chronic illnesses that ‘Yes, it is possible to take back your life!’.

Instead, here was a frail and still-sick middle-aged woman swimming, biking and running with the dream of one day being whole again.

I will be whole again!

Here’s why I love the sport of triathlon: