To Be a Newbie
Words by: Ria Cruz
Everybody starts as a newbie. It’s a good place to be in: curious, anxious, but with tempered expectations. In short, the newbie is armed with a big legitimate excuse.
The first hurdle was commitment. Considering the demands of multi-sport training to one’s schedule (not to mention, finances), it’s not an easy decision to make. To make an informed decision I had to ask too many questions and read too many articles in order to apprise myself of what kind of training this will involve and how much of my life will be affected. In the end, my interest became all the more pronounced and before I knew it, I found myself in swimming pools and buying triathlon equipment.
The next hurdle was a training and season plan. I was totally clueless! Luckily, most triathlete friends were willing to help, again, answering questions, recommending races to target and referring this and that website for training and workout suggestions. God bless the internet! There are many training plans available, I just had to scrutinize which ones fit my goals and adjusted them a little to make it compatible to my weekly schedule, keeping in mind that there should be a healthy balance not only for training but also for family, work and other endeavors. We have a life to deal with, you know. ;) Luckily too, I had training partners and fellow newbie friends to make training more enjoyable and exciting and make joining races feel like an adventure.
A couple of months into training, I decided to test my abilities and see where my training has taken me. Tri United 1 was perfectly scheduled so I and my fellow newbies Risha and Jeff joined. On the race weekend, we tagged along with Team Norman, who welcomed us with open arms (thanks a lot!). It was an opportunity to observe pre-race preparation (ahem, rituals and ceremonies…lol!). The nervous newbies went trough the motions and sooner than we thought, we were standing at the starting line waiting for the gun to go off.
The swim leg was a frenzy! A vision of intertwining limbs and white water, at most times too close for comfort (forget your concept of personal space). It was scary and a bit beyond my comfort zone, but focus was key. I didn’t want to waste all what I’ve gained during training. So, for the duration of race, I had to let go of all doubts and insecurities and just do what I was supposed to do: move forward. And that, I guess, was what took me to the finish line. In the end, we were all smiles, happy about our latest accomplishment. As bonus, we three were able to land in the top of our respective age groups, all the more rewarding. We can’t wait to join our next triathlon.
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