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July 12, 2007


“You never know just how you look through other peoples’ eyes.”
- B-Hole Surfers, “Pepper”

With my Ironman less than 4 weeks away, I’m starting to reflect upon the journey to this point, and the transformations (both mental and physical) I’ve undergone to get here.

I think it’s impossible to spend the time and effort required for Ironman training without the activity coming to define you in some sense or another. It took a long time for me to think of myself as a triathlete first and foremost - instead of a runner who has dabbled in triathlon for almost 10 years – but the countless pool laps and cycling miles of the past few months have, at long last, solidified the transition in my own mind.

It’s a subtle distinction, and perhaps not apparent or appreciable to most passive observers. At least, that’s what I thought - until I overheard two naked guys talking this week.

Four of us just finished a swim workout, and I had hopped out to hit the shower a few minutes early so I could hurry back to work. Afterward, as I was busy tucking and tying and buttoning things, I overheard two guys who had just exited the shower a few rows of lockers away from me.

The lockers are tall enough that you can’t see over them, but sound carries very well in the concrete interior of the room. So it was easy for me to listen as they started the following conversation:

Naked guy 1: Hey, sorry I couldn’t swim with you guys today. My shoulder’s still bugging me. How was the workout?

Naked guy 2: It was great. We did some pretty tough sets.

Guy 1: Who was that fourth person swimming with you guys? The one on the end.

Guy 2: That’s Donald.

Guy 1: Oh, I know him … he’s that triathlete, right?

Guy 2: Yeah. I think he’s a pretty good one, too. I’m not sure, though.

After that, I figured it was time for me to evacuate. The last thing I wanted was to be discovered within listening distance where I’d have to confess to eavesdropping. So I quietly packed up my things and scooted out the back door of the locker room as quickly as possible.

But on the way to the car, I couldn’t help thinking, these guys see me as a triathlete. They could have just as easily said I was a runner, or the guy who brings up the back of the pack with every long swim set, but they didn’t.

They saw a triathlete. They saw what I’m feeling inside. And it felt wonderful to hear.

Sometimes I’m a little slow to recognize things that seem readily apparent to others. I guess I’ve really been a full-time triathlete for more than a year now, but it’s taken me until now to fully embrace the conversion.

And the fact that it took two naked guys gossiping in a locker room for me to complete the transformation doesn’t bother me one bit.

“Some will fall in love with life and drink it from a fountain –
That is pouring like an avalanche coming down the mountain.”
- B-Hole Surfers, “Pepper”


jeff 7/12/07, 10:58 AM  

i'm excited for you, donald! what a great feeling.

and kudos on picking another great tune/band to represent it. now i have to dig that album out!

Deene 7/12/07, 11:00 AM  

love this part - "two naked guys gossiping"

Phoenix 7/12/07, 12:04 PM  

Triathlete. Pretty impressive identity. It suits you. Next up: Ironman.

Spokane Al 7/12/07, 1:47 PM  

Damn right you're a "pretty good one."

Keep rocking.

Backofpack 7/12/07, 2:32 PM  

Oh, man...naked guys admiring you...that's the best!

Anne 7/12/07, 5:36 PM  

That's good gossip. My eavesdropping always involves speculation on my weight. I like yours a lot better.

Thomas 7/13/07, 2:21 AM  

A "pretty good one". Yeah, I think I agree with that.

Fe-lady 7/13/07, 8:13 AM  

I wouldn't mind young naked guys admiring ME and calling me a triathlete...but that's just too weird for a mature lady like myself... :-0

Makita 7/13/07, 8:43 AM  

2 naked guys admiring you...LOL! I love your writing style!

I'm looking forward to 7th Harry Potter as well. Any guess on what the last word will be?

robtherunner 7/13/07, 9:50 AM  

I can't believe the Ironman is 4 weeks away. I am willing to bet money that you will definitely make your mark as a good triathlete.

Paul 7/13/07, 12:56 PM  

Welcome to the club. :)

Darrell 7/15/07, 2:29 PM  

Change is good, it will take some getting used to though.

You're still a class act, no matter what label you decide to wear.

olga 7/15/07, 7:04 PM  

Would you look at THAT TRIATHLETHE over there? - wispered naked lady. Yeah, he is totally as hot as he is fit and fast!
You'll do amazingly well, knowing you by now by your race reports:)

Coach Tammy 7/15/07, 9:24 PM  

If you didn't look over the wall, how do ya know they were naked? ;)

Good feelings. Hold on to them. They are well earned.

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