I’m on the Team.
I have run a lot of races. Three full marathons (Chicago 2010, NJ 2011 and NYC 2011), ten half-marathons and countless smaller races. However, all my races have been restricted to running. Having suffered through various running injuries over the years, I knew that adding other forms of endurance training to my repertoire would make a huge difference in my health and fitness.
Cut back to two years ago. I was dating a fantastic girl who decided to train with Team in Training for the NYC Triathlon while raising money for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. I’d never done a tri, but the thought of swimming, biking and running sounded exactly like what I needed. I was starting to train for my first marathon, so I decided I’d wait till the following year to go for it.
I knew I’d do it with Team in Training, having been inspired by the Team events I attended with my ex, the great coaching she received, and the fantastic friends she made along her journey to becoming a triathlete. Plus, I’d never raised money for a cause and being cancer related, it seemed like the right fit, having lost many family members to various forms of cancer and having my own cancer scare a few months prior. (If curious about my cancer scare, I discussed it in my Dailymile interview.)
I started a new job just as the triathlon training season began the following year. I was still making a first impression and knew I could not commit to the time and schedule required to train properly with the Team – I had to postpone another year.
Well, this is my year! I signed up with TNT back in November and officially started training 6 weeks ago! I can already say that joining the Team is the best decision I’ve ever made. And not just because I get to ride my awesome new bike, wear more spandex and rock a hot look during swim practices.
Each week, we are introduced to people and families battling forms of leukemia and lymphoma and I’m reminded of those I’m raising money to help. Talk about motivation! And every week, I have swim coaches, run coaches and cycling coaches pushing me to improve my form and fitness. I am making new friends and now have to live up to the accomplishment I’ve promised to all those who have donated to my cause.
It’s not an easy road. I hadn’t swam a real lap since I was 12, almost 20 years prior, and it is TOUGH. It’s amazing that I can run 10 miles without breathing heavy, yet one lap in the pool could leave me winded! There is so much to learn! And riding a bike? That whole phrase, “it’s like riding a bike” is total bullshit! I went out and bought a new bike with clipless pedals and let me tell you, it is a lot harder than I thought! I’ve already taken one spill and riding in the NYC streets is tricky! Check out my battle wound:
I may have the running down, but relearning to bike and swim is running me down, both physically and mentally. I want so badly to be good, but it’s not that simple. I continue to practice almost every day and know that with hard work and mental toughness, I’ll get there eventually. Who knew that sucking so bad would motivate so good!?
Have you run for a cause? I’d love to hear about it!
And if anyone would like to make a donation to the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society and support me in my quest to swim, bike and run my first triathlon, I’ll be forever grateful! Just visit: http://pages.teamintraining.org/nyc/nyctri12/benmwaldman - THANKS!
Motivating Track of the Week: “The Way You Make Me Feel” by Michael Jackson