Trying a Tri...Again
In 2008, I trained for my first triathlon. I logged miles on my bike, took the interval-running class at my gym, practiced transitions, and even signed up for adult swimming lessons to freshen up my freestyle technique. When race day rolled around, it went off without a hitch. I finished feeling happy with how I performed, and crossed “Do a triathlon” off my long list of personal goals.
Since then, my fitness feats have included competing in a CrossFit competition, doing a cyclocross race, and trying track cycling. I had many more goals on my mental list—run an adventure race, finish a half-marathon, try Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu—until this past spring. In May, after enduring searing pain in my hips for the better part of a year, I was diagnosed with osteoarthritis. To keep pain at bay and slow down the progression of the condition, I’m supposed avoid running, jumping, lifting heavy weights, and pivoting. That diagnosis was difficult to swallow. Grannies get arthritis—I’m 27! I felt like my body was punishing me for a lifetime of regular exercise and I hated the restrictions my doctor had given me.
A little over three months later, though, I’ve realized that arthritis is not a game ender, but a game changer. Instead of constantly trying new activities, I’ve fallen back on the ones I know I love. After a year or so of neglecting my bicycle, I’ve begun riding regularly again. I also have been taking advantage of the free lap-swimming program at the gorgeous, Olympic-sized pool that’s within walking distance of my apartment.
I’ve even reinstated my list of goals. First up: Finish another triathlon. (I’ll have to speed-walk the 5-K portion, but so what? It’s not like I was going to win anyway.) I’ve signed up for the Toyota SheROX Sprint Triathlon in San Diego, which will take place on October 21. I'm full of nerves and wondering how I'll fit in training around my already-hectic schedule, but also incredibly excited for what's in store. Follow my training here on The Juice Bar or @muhTHIGHess, and give me a shout if you’ll be racing in SoCal, too.
—Christine Mattheis, Editor
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