Where Everybody Knows Your Name

I truly enjoy training alone. Many athletes talk about liking the friendly competition and support that they get from a group, but I’ve honestly never felt that way. Somehow I’m able to push myself just as hard whether I have witnesses or not, and no matter who’s waiting for me in the morning it is myself and myself only that gets me out of bed and in the lake/in the saddle/on the road.

From the start I’ve planned to work with a coach but I always knew that would turn out great. I love being provided with a plan and following it, and I totally thrive on following directions as perfectly as possible. But, it’s pretty uncharacteristic of me to have unofficially joined a training group, and even moreso for me to be enjoying it!

On Tuesday nights we meet at the track, and on Friday mornings at the lake, and in my few weeks of participation I’ve enjoyed it so much more than I could have anticipated. It’s nice to show up  to a handful of waves and to simply be beside people who are experiencing the same thing that you are regardless of whether you talk about it or not. Though I tend to be shy it’s good to celebrate with others who know what your success means, or joke about the lack therof.

My favorite part, the corny part, is that it makes me feel like I belong here, doing what I’m doing, in this new sport and new space. I’ve seen team members on non-group days and though we may only say “hi” before we swim off in our separate directions, for me the interaction makes me feel confident and deserving of my space, and validates my hard work. I am part of this club and I deserve to be here.

It’s sort of like the triathlon version of Cheers.


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