All Aboard the Pain Train!


Those were the five words typed into the body of the e-mail containing the first two weeks of my triathlon training program. Ironically, I received that e-mail shortly before my coach, Ironman, showed up at my house to watch the Super Bowl with a small group of our friends. My first instinct was to hide the chips, dips and cupcakes and break out the carrot sticks in order to demonstrate to him my complete dedication to the program. However, rational thought won over and I decided that eating three cupcakes was the way to blow it out before beginning Day 1 of the program. Go out with a bang! Go big or go home! Just Do It! Cupcakes! What else was I supposed to eat with the football-shaped ice cream cake he brought?

The training I am doing in the first two weeks is what  he calls base building. I’m running, swimming or biking every day for the next two weeks. I’m hoping this is the part where I learn discipline and consistency and develop the ability to be in the gym every day without wanting to hurl myself off the treadmill. Yesterday, Day 1, consisted of a nice easy run followed by a swim lesson and some time on the bike today, Day 2. I’m thinking so far that this may not be as hard as I thought it was going to be. Can I just base-build for the next 8 months? I have a feeling, though, that once the base is built, I will be receiving my first class ticket to ride the pain train he promised.

I will take on whatever Ironman throws at me. Jump on one foot while juggling cupcakes? Done! Run down the street in heels while playing the Rocky theme on my guitar? What? I’m on it!  I will take whatever he throws my way because I’m grateful that a world-class triathlete is willing to put time and energy into helping me achieve something that I think will be a life-changer. The window for me being a Super Bowl winning football player has probably passed, but I’m going to finish this triathlon and buy my own championship ring.

Next: My swim coach, the Silver Sneakers and why doing what scares you is the best gift you can give yourself.

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