Life in the Fast Lane

A TRIATHLETE'S MULTISPORT ADVENTURES, TRAVELS, RANDOM MUSINGS, AND CHRONICLES OF HER OTHERWISE ORDINARY LIFE

Why I Tri

By 8:56 AM , , , , , , , , , , ,

In Instagram, the official IRONMAN Triathlon account sometimes reposts people's #WhyWeTri photos. And the reasons people get into triathlon are as varied as there are colors in the entire spectrum. I like reading everyone's posts, and seeing their reasons for getting into the sport.

Sometimes, while training, I also think about why I tri, especially after a hard workout; especially when I'm so tired after a long day that I'd rather sleep instead. And then I always feel better after training and feel grateful for having pushed myself.

I don't think there's just one particular reason behind my wanting to do triathlons (or being in the multisport scene), but I do think it's important to know why I do this and to constantly remind myself.

Here are some — at least the ones that come to mind — of the reasons why I tri.

1) I tri because I can

I have always been an athletic person. My mom first enrolled me in swimming classes at the age of two (fun fact: I was actually terrified of the water as a toddler), I was a competitive swimmer for 10 years, and I have also tried and taken classes in several other sports.

I've always been grateful for what my body has been able to accomplish physically, but it's not always easy. My left foot has two kinds of injuries that I have to manage (plantar fasciitis and posterior tibial tendonitis), plus my calf muscles on my left leg are prone to cramping. I also have asthma, which I have to be on the lookout for. I'm not the fastest, nor the strongest; I'm just an amateur athlete who isn't even an IRONMAN finisher yet.

However, I am able to train and to race, despite my setbacks and despite my busy schedule. I am physically able to endure swimming, biking, and running separately and in succession. I am thankful for being able to do this, and I seek to glorify God in what He can accomplish through me.

Subic International Triathlon, April 2016
Photo © Pet S. Salvador

2) I tri because it is an outlet

My line of work can be really stressful. From long hours, to working on some weekends, to the day-to-day demands, it can take a toll on a person's health and sanity. In my earlier years of being in this industry, I would just take everything in. And admittedly, there was really a time when I would question if I was cut out for all of this.

Thankfully, eventually, I decided to start working out. Initially, it was a tricky balancing act. I had to figure out a schedule that allowed me to sneak in enough time for running (I got into tri years after I was already running regularly; then I brought back swimming, then I got into cycling).

But I stuck to it. And this habit progressed to where I am today.

I realized that triathlon was an outlet I really looked forward to. And when I thought about it further, I noticed that many people in my line of work also had their own outlets — from trekking, to calligraphy, to other sports, to vinyl records collecting, to doodling and selling their works in art fairs. Mine just happened to be more physical in nature.

Triathlon helps me think and not think at the same time. When I do laps in the pool, there have been times when I would come up with ideas or storylines that eventually were turned into TVC scripts. And there are some times when I need to tune out from the demands of this world, and I can do just that while running. It depends a lot on what I'm feeling at a particular moment while training or racing, but the wonderful thing is that I have the liberty to do so.

Biking with my teammates, March 2016

3) I tri because I'm inspired by other people who do it

The tri community is a very giving one. From spectators who cheer for you by the finish line, to your teammates (shoutout to my Poveda Tri Team; my sisters in training and racing!) who will motivate you like no one else, to numerous coaches who will give you tips, to tri friends (both locally and internationally) on social media who will "like" your posts and encourage you, to seeing people of all sizes and shapes racing just as hard as you — how can you not want to be part of it?

Podium finishers (1st and 3rd in the all-female relay category) at Regent 5150, June 2016

4) I tri because it gives me a sense of purpose

I enjoy being able to find that balance among work, life, and training. I enjoy knowing that I can help people (from swim tips, to cheering people on). I enjoy knowing that this — the triathlon scene — is where I'm meant to be right now. I enjoy discovering how training keeps me feeling younger and healthier. I enjoy knowing my limitations and that there is so much more I can improve on (in terms of beating my previous times, in terms of skills and techniques). I enjoy being able to glorify God with what He has allowed me to accomplish in this (multi)sport.

Triman Triathlon, June 2016
Photo © RUN CAB

5) I tri because the finish line feeling is indescribable 

I don't always do individual events (meaning, the whole swim-bike-run by myself). There are many times when I'm just part of a relay team and I usually do the swim. In both cases, though, it's always a joy to cross the finish line; whether it's me after doing the swim-bike-run individually, or whether it's seeing my relay runner crossing it.

It is really the culmination of all the hard work that I (and my teammates) have put in; proof that the training has sufficed, that I've improved (or need to work harder next time), and it erases any pain or discomfort I (or my teammates) may have encountered while racing. I always thank the Lord for carrying me and my teammates to the finish line, each and every race.

Atleta Ako Aquathlon, February 2016

With this, I'd also like to thank the people around me who've also had to put up with this madness: my family, close friends, and even my colleagues. It's hard to understand something you're not really a part of (in the same way I may not fully be able to relate to other people's hobbies or passions), but the fact that they indulge me, cheer for and pray for me, and support me makes me feel like a winner. 

I'd also like to thank the Lord for continuing to help me find joy in this passion of mine, and for understanding that most of my races fall on the Sabbath Day (which means some Sundays are spent doing "solo" worship, hehe).

What's your passion? And why do you do it?

I hope that whatever it is you are into, that it gives you joy and a sense of fulfillment!

P.S. By the time you read this, some of my teammates and I will be on our way to another race, Tri United 2. Kindly say a prayer for us!

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