The Reluctant Triathlete

It’s once again time for the reluctant triathlete to consider making a leap of faith

With another new year about to begin, the flood of resolutions to become slimmer and fitter will once again resonate across North America.

It’s a mystery why people feel they have to wait until January 1 before considering improving their quality of life, but it is what it is. At least the magical date has succeeded in changing the lives of those who have stuck to their resolutions for more than a month. That in itself is cause for celebration.

Maybe all through the Spring and Summer of the past year you heard about, or perhaps witnessed, the achievements of family members, friends, or co-workers who have taken up the sport of triathlon.

Often you were in awe of their achievements and more than once you wished it was something that you could do. You convinced yourself that it was for the fitter, more athletic types and it was beyond your level of ability.


When you look in the mirror, perhaps what you see is enough to convince you that triathlon is simply not for your. You’re out of shape, over-weight, and your body language proclaims you believe this is all you’ll ever be.

“What has my body done to me?” you ask yourself.

Not so fast. Your body has done nothing but do your bidding. The one in charge is you. You should be asking, “what have I done to myself?”

Whatever you did in your lifetime has been assimilated and delegated by your body according to your every whim. Every bit of booze, cigarettes, drugs, vitamins, health foods, junk foods, fat, protein, simple or complex carbohydrate has been dealt with as efficiently as possible. Your sedentary or active lifestyle has also been taken into account by your ever willing to please body.

It’s actually a miracle of creation how our body can adapt to the way of life we choose to follow.

Eat more calories than you burn? Whether these calories come from fat, protein, or simple or complex carbohydrates, your body will store them for future use. It assumes you’re eating the way you do for a reason and will do the logical thing. Extra calories will be converted to fat for future use and stored around the waist for easy access, and will eventually spread out from there.

reluctant triathlete diet

Save these for a treat after your first triathlon.

Do you sit around and spend much of your spare time watching T.V. or playing video games? Is the sedentary lifestyle more your cup of tea? That’s fine. Your body will assume you don’t need a strong heart to pump blood to working muscles because well, they’re not working. As a matter of fact, it will go a step further. Why keep idle muscles toned, vibrant, and strong anyway? If they’re not being used, it makes more sense to let them soften or fall victim to atrophy.

After all, this is the message you’re sending your body, and you’re the boss. Well, aren’t you?

So maybe you don’t like what you see when you look in the mirror. Maybe you think there’s no hope for you.

Nothing could be further from the truth. You weren’t always the way you are. It took years to reach this point in your life. What you see is what you are today. It has no bearing on what you can become tomorrow.


Are you ready for positive change and ready to find the real you? Are you ready to believe in yourself?

Just watch the changes take place as soon as you take your life in a fitter, healthier direction. Make better food choices. Learn how to swim. Buy a used road bike for a few hundred bucks, buy a wind-trainer, and start spinning in your living room or basement. Take it outside when you’re ready.

walk then run

Just start somewhere. The sky’s the limit.

Not used to running or simply too out of shape? No problem. Start by walking with purpose around the block or on the bike path by the river. In a few weeks add some running into the mix. Run-walk, run-walk, run-walk. Maybe walk five minutes and run for two and repeat. As you get fitter, walk less and run more. It won’t be that long before you’ll just be running.

Your body will pick up on the new demands and immediately begin to compensate to comply with your wishes. Because after all. You’re the boss. Well, aren’t you?

Your heart will get stronger in order to pump blood to working muscles. Muscles will shed old tissue and be replaced with new. They will get strong and toned. Your lungs will get stronger too. They have to in order to compensate for the extra oxygen you need in order to increase your level of physical activity.

You’ll start burning calories for fuel and soon all your stored fat will begin to disappear. Complex carbohydrates will burn in the fire of the quality fats you eat and be converted to high-octane fuel.

You’re no longer a clunker of a car.

You are a Ferrari who is leaving the reluctant triathlete that was once you in your dust.


It’s always a good idea to have a goal in mind when you make the brave and life-changing decision to shed the chains of mediocrity and discontent and begin the search for the new you.

People are often amazed when they realize the potential that has been locked up inside them for years. They didn’t know it was there, because they spent their lives as spectators.

It was when they resolved to step onto the highway of self-discovery and accomplishment that their true selves began to emerge.

So, pick a race down the road as your goal. It can be a try-a-tri, Sprint Triathlon, Olympic Distance Triathlon, Ironman 70.3, or even an Ironman.

Pick whatever goal suits you, but be sure to give yourself all the time you need to prepare.

The important thing to remember is that the biggest accomplishment is getting to the start line, and not necessarily how the race itself unfolds.

Getting to the start line means that you have taken a risk. You are going into undiscovered territory, not knowing what the outcome will be.

That takes courage.

We learned to walk by falling down. If we never took that risk, we’d still be crawling.

Read about endurance athletes and food that fuels them.

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