What We Share.

By Tom D.
March 23, 2010 on 3:39 pm | In Uncategorized | 1 Comment

It was like an altar.
People gathered around. They sat in silence gazing up at the screen. Someone whispered. Their inquiry was politely ushered away. The hush fell again as the disciples watched in reverence.
It was TriFest this weekend at TriSports.com and our store was abuzz with athletes. People doing their first race. People doing their hundredth race. Advice was traded and plans were made. The room was thick with anticipation as shoppers bought energy gels, race clothing, sunscreen and swim accessories. They were racing tomorrow at the Tucson Triathlon.
In one corner of the store there was quiet reverence. The Ironman was playing. Athletes came to worship. Some had been there. Some aspired to go. One man sat in rapt silence, head cocked to the side- no mistaking the chicken- texture of his skin. It spoke to him. The “m-dot” on his calf said he answered the call.
As athletes we share many things. The greatest is vitality. Whether you are a beginner or a ten time Ironman finisher you have this in common with every athlete. As athletes; we do. In the doing we share vitality. In vitality there is a connection to life, and that is one reason people do triathlons- to affirm their connection to life. To experience life. To live.
The reason people keep doing triathlons is different with each person and as we evolve. It remains with the belief that it is better to do than to watch. So while people bought their last minute Body Glide, got bike fittings and tested wetsuits in the Endless Pool they all did so with a common bond: An attachment to vitality; a reverence for doing, for being a participant.
Our sport is an affirmation of life in many ways: You survived a disease, you survived a loss, you came back from some trial- some test of character or mettle. You want to know what it is to experience life, to direct it actively. You’re not a spectator. Endurance sports reinforces you not only survived you prevailed. Your affirmation through sport demonstrates that, while life can throw us curves, we can throw right back.
As athletes crowded onto the seats in front of the TV here at TriSports.com their unifying ethos was that they are “doers”. We are active participants. Our reverence for the images of Ironman on the video screen during TriFest is testimony to that.

TRIFEST

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  1. It’s just swimming and biking and running…cool and fun to do, but please, it has “become” this religion. And it’s not. There are more admirable things in life to “do”-and as one that has been “doing” sports for over 40 years, I am more proud of being a mom and a teacher than a triathlete any day. I hope most of the triathletes you talk about are too…or at least learn to be as they mature.

    Comment by fe-lady — March 29, 2010 #

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