by John D.
3 clicks? What the heck does that mean?
3 clicks was my comfort, it meant my day was wrapping up and everything for the rest of the day was going to be ok. My journey to this sport (which we should really call a lifestyle) started back in March of 2015. I had a girlfriend now for almost a year and a half and we thought it was about time to go on vacation. I love Vegas so we decided that was the place. I’d never stayed downtown and we really wanted to see “Freemont Street” so we decided to stay at the Golden Nugget. They had a “21” and older pool (perfect for me). We spent a whole day in that pool, we met some people from St Louis and had a pretty heated discussion about who had the better ball team (Cubs of course) – ok we might have had a few cocktails. What an AWESOME time. Downtown was just the ticket. I didn’t realize what a freak show downtown Vegas is, (my kind of people).
When we got back into town Michelle downloaded all the pics we had taken into her laptop and thinking I would re-live the adventure started viewing them. When I got to the pics from our day at the pool I couldn’t find any of me, but there was a bunch of pics of this guy that looked like a giant white whale… What the heck happened to me?? There is NO WAY that guy was me!
So that was my “Ah Ha” moment. Really it was my “holy crap” moment. That week I went out and bought my first “Fitbit.” I knew I couldn’t run anymore (I ruined my knees playing basketball into my 40s) but I could walk. I also knew I was not about to change my diet and walking was going to be just the ticket. So the rest of that year I walked – holy moly did I walk. Some days I walked for 3 or 4 hours. I lost some weight but not enough to make any kind of sizeable difference. So at the end of the year I decided to join a health club and walk on the treadmill. Reluctantly I also decided that 2016 was going to be the year that I changed my diet.
I started 2016 at (ok I’m not going to say) but lets’ just leave it like this. When you look at those damn weight charts – I was hovering between overweight and obese. Something had to change. I met with the health clubs nutritionist and what an eye-opener. Turns out there was no-way I was going to lose any significant weight w/o making some big choices in my eating habits. Funny how when you seek help from the experts your life can really change for the better. From January to July of 2016 I lost a total of 42 pounds. Guess what else happened in that same timeframe. I was able to start running again!! Funny how your joints appreciate it when you lose that excess baggage.
I had a buddy that I told my story to (heck I told everyone that would listen) and he said he was running the Chicago Half Marathon in September and I should do it with him. So I downloaded the “Couch to Marathon in 90 seconds” “app” and started running that summer. I made it all the way to 8 mile long runs before my feet started really hurting. “What the heck now.” Made no sense – I was eating properly, getting plenty of sleep, drinking 10 to 20 gallons of water a day (well it seemed like that much).
So the next week I went to the doc and low and behold he told me that I have arthritis in my feet (along with a pretty significant bone spur). I just can’t win. I thought my running days were over and I went back to that comfortable 3 clicks for the next 6 weeks. I hated myself for doing it but what else could I do – I really felt defeated.
Michelle (now my fiancée) was telling this story to her boss and he said I should really give triathlons a shot (heck they only run a third of the time right). So I bought a bike off Craigslist in September and started riding. But my feet still hurt (I found out later that running shoes are no way to pedal a bike). I really like how it felt to ride – I was getting fresh air in my lungs and away from that 3 clicks. I wanted to be a better rider so I took a class at Experience Triathlon from Coach Sarah. She taught me the fundamentals of the pedal stroke. At first it sounded confusing but she made it simple to understand and we walked away with handouts and gave us some drills to practice. (Single leg drills) yuck, thanks Sarah. I did walk away with a much better understanding of proper form and with that came speed… Johnny likes speed!! Ok you got me – I was hooked on cycling.
Next came swimming – I thought this was going to be the easiest of the 3 for me. I hung around the pool every summer. I could swim like a fish. Coach Sarah told me I should contact Coach Joe and talk about swimming. Joe suggested I take a 1 on 1 swim lesson with him to see how good I could swim. So a couple weeks later there we were me in the pool and him taking a video of me swimming (at least I thought it was swimming). When he showed me the video — all I saw was an injured seal floundering in the water trying desperately to move in a straight line… He said something about rowboat vs. kayak. I don’t really remember I was still coughing up chlorine. So I took the ET Swim 101 six week class. Again – great class and taught me the fundamentals of a proper swim stroke. I’m still not ready for a “Masters Class” yet – maybe next fall…
Joe also talked to me about ET Personal Coaching. By then I was pretty much hooked. Everyone I have met from ET (coaches and athletes) are so supportive. I really felt like I was already a member of their team.
So here I am today – 3 days before my first outdoor Tri at Pleasant Prairie – if I told you I wasn’t a little nervous I’d be lying. Coach Joe says I’m ready and I trust him. So I’m ready.
Wish me luck…
Oh yea – the “3 clicks” – Have you figured it out yet?
That’s the sound my Lazy-Boy makes when I put up the footrest…