We all have excuses as to why we won’t or can’t do something. Generally when I talk about doing triathlons, people will say things like, “I’m just not a strong swimmer,” or “I’m not a great biker,” or “I can’t run very well.”
Granted, in a triathlon you need to be able to do all three sports to a certain extent, but if being “really great” at any of the three was a requirement, I would never have gotten past my first season as a triathlete. Those are just excuses not to attempt the sport.
Triathlons do require commitment and concentration, and all your senses are firing on all cylinders when you line up to start the race. While sight is undoubtedly the most necessary sense, hearing is probably second. Your ability to hear the starting gun, oncoming traffic, warning calls, and such would seem imperative.
So, as you list your excuses NOT to do a triathlon, contemplate this – Anniston Runners Club’s Tri Team has two members who are deaf who compete regularly in triathlons.
When one of them emailed a few weeks ago asking if he could participate in a swim/bike training event (Open water swimming in a lake and a challenging bike ride up Cheaha Mountain), I said, “Of course.”
Then expressed my own concerns by asking how I could keep him safe on the ride.
He assured me he looked back often to check traffic and was used to riding in similar situations and would stay way over on the right side of the road. I was still a little nervous, as I couldn’t imagine riding without being able to hear an oncoming car or a change in the sound of my bike or a warning from another cyclist about approaching dangers. I was voicing my excuses if I were deaf, what I perceived would be a handicap.
Trust me, these two guys have not allowed being deaf to handicap them in any way. This weekend, they will be competing in the Chattanooga Waterfront Triathlon, an Olympic Distance event where they will swim almost a mile in the Tennessee River, bike an extremely challenging 42k leg, and run a hot 10k course. And this is not their only event this season!
So….what’s your excuse?