Monday, July 24, 2006

check me in

I'm addicted to this.

I can't stop thinking about this feeling I get when I'm thinking about this sport.

In a world where there is so much negative...where wars and budget deficits and terrorism and yellow alerts and poverty and hurricanes haunt the six o'clock news every day...this bizarre addiction gives me a little high and lets me be in control of my own world even if it's just in my head.

In a world where sports are king--and by sports, we mean money, we mean the "clear" and the "cream," we mean indictments and disappointments and screaming parents at referees and bitter players...where children don't even want to play anymore because it's not fun anymore...this sport restores my faith in athletics and in my very definition of sport.

In a world where your body is all that matters--where Miss Universe was just yesterday judged by her swimsuit, where I see young girls tanning themselves literally to death, where I think of how much, at age 10, I used to hate the way I looked and how my shoulders were "too big" from swimming--I see strong, beautiful, muscular, confident women triathletes, and I breathe a sigh of relief as I look in the mirror at my freckled-face, bike shorts-tan-line, and swimmer's shoulders.

In this selfish world--where it seems as if everyone is out for themselves, where whomever has the best toys wins, where your bank account is seen as a reflection of your worth--I see so many people giving their time and efforts to better themselves.

People stepping outside of their comfort zone, and jumping into the open water of life. Murky, choppy, and uncharted....and coming out of the water smiling to take on the next endeavor.

Because I love to compete, but more against myself--because I love to watch my friends succeed--because nothing gives me more joy or makes me smile like hearing about a successful race--I am an addict.

I'm an addict because it makes me step outside of my little world--because it scares me and because I don't know if I can do it at times. Because nothing is quite like the sting in your eyes from sweat and sunscreen as you cross the finish line of an event. And even when I fall, when I fail, and when I don't reach a goal, I know that the salty tears of frustration that might roll down my face will lead me to another victory on another day with salty tears of joy and disbelief.

Because there was a time in my life when I was an addict for other things--for insecurity, for self-doubt, for partying to cover up these things--I embrace this addiction wholeheartedly.

I am addicted because this sport has given to me so much...because I am a better person, a better friend, and will someday be a better mother because I have grown from it.

In this uncontrollable and unpredictable world, this addiction gives me a small amount of control in my destiny--of who I am, of where I've been, and of where I'm heading.

And I don't think I can ever give that up.

25 comments:

qcmier said...

You're making me cry with these posts.

We all had different reasons for coming to this sport of triathlons, but I think we are all addicted to the very same things.

Wes said...

Oh, well said T. I'm becomming addicted because I read all about you and Iron Wil and I want that for myself... One mile, stroke, spin at a time baby! Ironman Florida 2010 look out :-)

Cliff said...

well said, TriSaraTops.

I was just talking to a sister from Church today. She told me she started running outside and jsut got a bike for the weekend...she was saying "oh i don't know how oto swim but i can learn. I can bike and I can run".

She hasn't admit she is into tri but i think deep down she thought about it. She did told me someday she want to do a marathon :O..

I have infected another soul...excellent.

Lana said...

Beautiful!!!

Mojo said...

Sweet, deep post. Sounds like you are learning so much during the journey of becoming an Ironman.

jkrunning--Just Keep Running said...

I love the post.

Wil said...

OK, you need to be a writing teacher babe. You ROCK!!!!!!!!!!

Scott said...

Inspiring as always. I'm glad that you stuck with your swimming despite the size of your shoulders.

Knowing you (even if only in this forum) I have no doubt that you WILL inspire other girls (and I hope boys) to do likewise.

Michele said...

Great post.

Jennifer P said...

What a great post...thank you for this.

RunBubbaRun said...

Great post. I'm glad I'm not the only one who gets addiction withdrawals when I miss a day of working out. By reading all the blogs I'm getting more "stoked" about seeing everybody on race day and on the IMWI course.

rice said...

Great post. I to am addicted, I always look to better myself and keep reaching for that goal. To be an example to my family, my friends because I would like nothing more then for them to love life as much as I do, but like they say you can only change yourself, but by doing that maybe someday we can change the world.

Great post.

Rice.

DaisyDuc said...

So much truth to that post!

backofpack said...

Wow, great post. You nailed it! I feel the same way - but it's focused on running rather than tris. The other thing is the really great people that participate - the support and comraderie is fantastic! Thanks! (I came from Lana's blog)

marz_racer said...

Great post. I think it captures the essence of the tri lifestyle.

Papa Louie said...

Well, now that you put it that way, I have to admit that I also am addicted.

Habeela said...

Yup. It's the one addiction you don't want to recover from! :)

Jessica said...

I just finished my "A" race of this season...you really summed up for me why I spent the last six months getting up at 4 a.m. to train. I can't wait to read about yours later this year!

Kewl Nitrox said...

Hmmm an addiction and a solace? :)

Andy said...

This was a great post. I think that all of us feel that way, but you so eloquently put them down in words (on your blog).

This is one of those posts that i will probably come back to over and over again in the event that I have a bad training day, or I doubt myself for whatever reason.

Thanks,

Murtha...

tri-mama said...

Yea baby! I swam with my tri club this morning-echo on this sentiment.

runnergirl said...

Wow. What an amazing post! This was my first visit to your blog. I think I'll have to keep reading!

Donald said...

This is a fantastic post - very inspirational. I love it.

trifrog said...

Seems we're all running, cycling, and swimming away from a former bad addiction of one sort or another.

Since addiction has such a negative connotation from my childhood, I like to think of it as a passion. Although many confuse the two and allow that passion to become an addiction.

Rachel said...

Great post. Triathlon is so good for the female body image b/c it's all about what you can do and how strong you are--not about how you look. It IS addictive but it could be worse. Afterall, it's not cocaine and cigarettes!