Triathlon This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

May 1, 2008
The whistle screeched and the first wave of swimmers launched into the water. I stepped forward and the cold water splashed my toes. The whistle blew again and I dove. My first triathlon had begun.

Almost three months earlier, I had come out of a rugby match with a ­broken collarbone, an injury that kept me from playing my usual sports. I’ve watched my mom ­go for long runs, bike rides, and swims as she trained for triathlons. I figured that if she could compete, I could, too. After my collarbone healed, I asked to join her training sessions. I did not think that running with my mom would be the summer I was looking for, so I got my friend Adam involved too.

My first few runs were hard because even in the short time I wasn’t training, I had gotten in pretty bad shape. ­After the first mile, every step sent a bolt of pain up my shins. Weeks passed and I built myself up enough to run a strong six miles. During my training, I biked too. This was easiest because it just took hard work and the will to push my body. On the other hand, swimming was the leg of the race that ­intimidated me most.

Adam and I excelled in different legs of the race, so training together was beneficial for both of us. It helped us balance out all three legs of the race ­because I pushed him harder on the ­biking, and he pushed me to improve on the swimming. We were about equal with the running. We both worked hard and in turn made the other work hard.

Although there were a couple hundred other racers competing at my first tri­athlon, I felt I was only competing with myself. This race was also a test of my hard work.

My breath left me as I dove into the cold, dark water. As expected, I was one of the last swimmers out of the lake. However, I did not let that hold me back. Biking was the next leg, and I was set to go and I passed person ­after person.

We began the run. By the midway point, every step was painful. Struggling to get to the end, I crossed the finish line only minutes after Adam. Although I did not make the time I had hoped for, I felt that this race was an amazing accomplishment, physically and mentally. Not only had I pushed myself beyond my preconceived limits, I felt that for the first time I was not competing against others – only myself.

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.

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Andi G. said...
Apr. 30, 2009 at 6:36 pm
This is awesome...Im a junoir cyclist
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