My friends woke up around 9:30 and after their first and my second breakfast we made our way to the pool. Another day in Clermont, another day of 90 degrees and sunny weather. I eased my way into the pool thinking this is how one should spend a day (and not swimming, biking, or running for god knows how long).
The pool felt glorious. It was cold which made it even better. I started doing some light stretching exercises when a guy who was sitting with his wife and friends called over:
Guy: Hey you look awfully sore, how’d you do yesterday?
(I thought: Well keen observation my dear Watson!)
Me: Well I finished, but only after 15 hours and 30 minutes. What about you?
Guy: Good for you! I ended up stopping a third of the way into the run.
Me: Ah I see. Sorry to hear , did you cramp up or something?
Guy: Not really. I was just plain exhausted. They were really cruel on the bike leg of this and even more so on the run. I just said the heck with this and stopped.
Me: I completely understand (I didn’t understand at all)
Guy: Was this your first Ironman?
Me: Yes. Actually it was my first triathlon.
Guy: No way! Wait are you that kid who came here off a bet no training?
Me: Yes sir. That would be me. I certainly feel every bit of it today.
Guy: So you came down here, didn’t train at all, and finished?
Me: Yep. Found out about this thing 3 weeks ago.
Guy: I trained for 10 months ! (speaking to his wife) are you hearing this?
Wife: What a story! Honey, I don’t know why you wasted all your time training!
Guy (sarcastically) : Thanks. Your advice is like a poopy-flavored lollipop – not very useful (he didn’t actually say that but that is what he meant)
The reason why I’m sharing this story is because determination and the proper mentality overrode how much or little one trained. Here I was speaking to a guy who had the appropriate gear (tri-bike etc) who had trained for 10 months and mentally quit. Physically his body was probably in a much better position than mine but the difference was there was no way I was going to stop.
Now that is not to say that one can just roll off the couch and do this – you need to be at some level of fitness (I have no idea which considering there were middle aged men and women zooming by me). However, once you achieve this, having a stubborn, persistent drive to finish will carry you through (in my humble opinion).
I told him this and he largely ignored this saying I should not have been able to do this without training… he didn’t get it.
Moving on, the pool rejuvenated my legs and I pranced around in the pool thinking I was Wolverine with some sort of ultra-quick healing power. Only when I climbed out of the pool (as I would have normally any other weekend) I screamed : OWWWW! My legs still hurt and I discovered I shared no super power with Wolverine.
The flight was ahead of us and the prospect of sitting on a crowded plane was not something I was looking forward to…