Five years ago.
Less than an hour had gone by since what must have been my twentieth tecar therapy treatment, twenty days since the operation on my achilles tendon and probably already more than twenty years since the first time that I had put on a pair of running shoes.
That afternoon I was battling with myself in the lane of a swimming pool, a flotation belt around my waist and an interval training program for running in water written on the palm of my hand.
I wasn’t enjoying it and had no competition on the horizon to give me the drive to enjoy this long slow recuperation post surgery.
Certainly on that afternoon it would have been almost impossible to count up the number of injuries that had proceeded this latest one in my running career.
Too many times i had gone back to the pool with that belt and those training programs, too many times I had begged my physiotherapist for another appointment, too many times I had been told “come on you can do it, it will get better soon.”
The moment arrives, I believe, for all runners, in which we start to look for some additional motive to keep running. We try changing course, then running club, then we change the distance, and look for new objectives; from my experience, the beginning of the end is when you start madly buying new clothing and equipment, just to cling by your fingernails on to some sort of enjoyment that otherwise you would find difficult to obtain, or worse, to try and convince yourself that you are still completly dedicated to your sport.
It is when in you find the latest fashion-sport t-shirt your wardrobe, when you’ve indulged yourself with the very latest in pastel colours, but nothing remains of your aggressive red-black-competition outfit. At this point abandon all hope. Your time has come…you need an new challenge…
And so, that weekend I found myself suspended between the tiranny of my running career, an obbession which had started as pure enjoyment, and an opportunity to turn things around, one of those opportunities that arrive out of the blue, open up your mind and must be taken immediately or lost forever.
And right here, my opportunity took the form of a tall, muscular guy (sometimes chance takes on an unexpected appearance!), who said to me, “Micol, enough, it’s time to try triathlon: I’ve seen you here in the pool recovering from running related injuries too many times. Will you please just listen to me?”
And what can you say to that? Do you say no? You decide not to listen? And perhaps he is even right. In any any case if you say no, one thing certain, at the very least you’ll lose him. And so it is definitely worth a shot.
Lets just say that then you try triathlon, you like it, no you love it, you leave running after a lifetime, you stop getting injured, you discover that triathlon is not something for heroes, but that you can do it too and you’re not even too bad… and perhaps you even end up marrying this guy…bah, let’s just say bingo! You’ve won the lottery!