There are many benefits from triathlon beyond the finish line.
There are many people who are on the outside looking in at the sport of triathlon wishing they could be part of it.
They may think they don’t have what it takes because they are too unfit, they are middle-aged, lack self-confidence, or maybe all of the above.
They look in the mirror and are not happy with what they see.
They dwell on what the passing years have done to them instead of looking ahead to what the amazing person they could become.
It’s remarkable what people are capable of if only they take a leap of faith and believe in themselves.
One of the biggest hurdles for many who would love to give triathlon a try is learning how to swim.
It’s not just learning how to swim……..it’s learning how to swim in the open water with no side of the pool to hold onto.
A could of years ago I wrote an article on the benefits of triathlon that go beyond becoming very fit, gaining confidence, and living a much better quality of life.
In that article I stated that the best skill you might ever learn from becoming a triathlete is how to swim with confidence in the open water.
I went on to say that in a world where we are surrounded by lakes, rivers, and oceans having the skill, fitness level, and confidence to swim in the open water could well save a life one day.
A woman from Calgary, Canada named Tamara took up triathlon about six years ago because she wasn’t happy with her level of fitness at the time.
On December 29, 2014 she was on vacation in Cancun with a friend.
They heard someone yelling for help and when they went down to the beach several people were there looking out at a couple who had been caught in a rip-tide and were in serious trouble.
Security guards had a life preserver and a big reel of rope but nobody wanted to go out to try and get them.
Except for Tamara….
With the rope around her waist and clutching the life preserver she swam out to the couple and saved their lives.
The woman had all but given up and was sure she was near death then she saw Tamara coming for her.
There is no doubt that Tamara’s swimming skill and bravery saved the man and woman from certain death.
It’s not the first time a triathlete has come to the rescue when people have found themselves in trouble in the open water.
When others are uncertain and understandably afraid it takes a person with skill and self-confidence to step up and that’s what Tamara did and what other triathletes have done in the past.
If you feel that swimming in the open water is something you could never learn I would have to disagree.
If you want it bad enough and are willing to put in the time and effort it’s a challenge that can be overcome. It’s been proven time and again in the world of the Ironman Triathlon.
People who at one time(and I’m one of them)who thought they couldn’t possible swim 2.4 miles in the open water find themselves crossing the Ironman finish line one day.
More amazingly they followed up the 2.4 mile swim with a 112 mile bike and 26.2 mile marathon.
Of all the things I can take away from becoming a triathlete some 30 years ago it’s the things that go beyond the triathlon finish line that I am most appreciative of.
I have learned so much about diet and fitness that will be with me for all the years of my life long after I cross the finish line of a race for the last time. I have learned new skills and have a self-confidence that was certainly lacking before I took up the sport of triathlon.
Triathlon is not for a select few. It’s for everyone. The door is there in front of you and you just have to open it and take that first step to becoming a new and improved you.
Who knows what could happen if you learn how to swim.
Your new skill might be all that stands between life or death one day.
I’m sure there’s a Montreal couple somewhere out there who would agree.
Well done Tamara!
You have made the triathlon community very proud.