Triathlon: A celebration of Life

Triathlon: A celebration of Life

Does this happen to you?  A full day passes you by, you finally lay down to sleep at night, and you barely remember what you did….actually, what you FELT, all day long.  I might be an oddity (though I think I’m not), but life all too often whizzes right past me, often because I am too busy thinking about what’s already happened, or trying to take care of things that are yet to come.  And suddenly I realize that the current moment is gone forever, and I’ve missed it.

I’ve recently turned back to a CD on meditation that was recommended to me by a chiropractor a few years ago, entitled “Wherever You Go, There You Are” written (and narrated by) Jon Kabat-Zinn.  The general nugget of the CD is that the beauty of life is in each passing moment, not the moments that preceded this one, or the moments that are coming, and that we live each moment non-judgementally. Yet in daily life, it is just so darn easy to fall prey to numbness, and letting moments slip right past us, for whatever reason that might be.

And in listening to this CD again, it dawned on me almost immediately, that as endurance athletes, we are given the beautiful opportunity to experience each fleeting moment to its possibly maximum…an enormous celebration of life!

Each sweat droplet that glistens down our foreheads, down our cheeks, twisting down our necks, and drenching our clothing, is trail of tears….tears from hard work, tears from joy of what we accomplish with each workout and with each new lesson, tears from the glory of life.

Each muscle ache reminds us that we HAVE muscles, that our bodies are these glorious creations that are capable of pulling us through the water, pedaling our feet and legs through miles of open road, and lifting our knees high into the air as our feet carry us over sidewalks, grass and pavement.

Each breath we take, be it laborious or free-flowing, reminds us that our internal system is so complexly interwoven with the rest of our body that it deems nothing less than a miracle each time we inhale oxygen and expel gasses through our noses and mouths.

Each of these actions help us EMBRACE the moment, and to CELEBRATE life.  Life is good!  We have such a gift as athletes to be reminded of this with every workout, and I like to look at my own gift as a call to arms, a call to be an advocate to others to not take life for granted.  It is such a hard lesson….I miss my mark constantly…but with every workout, I get the opportunity to try again!

To each of you, my fellow athletes, I see this celebration of life in you as I read your race reports, or as I train next to you, or as I bask in the glow that radiates off of your faces as you recount stories of perseverance, obstacles overcome, and hurdles jumped.  We are a blessed army of athletic soldiers!  Life is good, and each arm stroke, pedal stroke, and foot cadence reminds of us this!

Sarah Farsalas is a USA Cycling Level III certified coach with Experience Triathlon. As a cycling coach, Sarah helps athletes improve riding skills, body strength, training performance and race day speed using time-tested scientific training methods. She has a special interest in helping new riders enter the wonderful world of cycling.  Learn more about Coach Sarah and Experience Triathlon at www.experiencetriathlon.com

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  • A wonderful article Sarah.  Thank you so much for sharing your insights.  Yes, we are lucky to have what we have.  Life is good and it’s always Sunny and 80! 🙂

  • Jeff P

    Great blog, Sarah! It reminds me how fortunate I am to be able to have the wherewithal to even have a Tri Life. I lay my head on the pillow each night tired from the fullness of the day while so many I know lay their head to escape the day and hoping the next day won’t come too soon. Tanks for the reminder of how good we got it! It’s all good!

  • Paul

    Thank you, beautiful daughter.

  • Jim Riga

    Sarah, what a wonderful outlook on life and the sport we all love. Thanks for reminding us how lucky we are to be able to participate in running, biking, and swimming, and to appreciate each moment as we experience them.

  • Anonymous

    Great article Coach Sarah! It was the “pinch” I needed to remind me to CELEBRATE and EMBRACE my successes and the joy I feel doing what we do!

  • Sarah F.

    Yay!  Thanks for your feedback guys….that’s why I love training with all of you so much—even though it’s a little “out there” and existential to think this way, I kinda feel like it keeps me grounded, and I’m glad I’m not the only one who this tugs at too!  It must be all that yoga our coaches make us do….  🙂

  • Very nicely written, Sarah!!!  All so true, and I’ll be sure to remind myself of this often as I navigate my way through the Racine course next weekend!!!

    P.S.  Yay for yoga!! 🙂

    • sarah

      You’re gonna do awesome in Racine, Coach!!!   =)