Pursuing Triathlon’s Purpose

Thursday, March 19, 2015 by Coach Kristen

Do you ever feel like your purpose in this sport is greater than what you have been doing?  What the status quo of every other triathlete seems to be about?  The feeling that getting into the sport of triathlon is not just about yourself, but about a greater purpose?  Yeah, you’re getting healthy while doing your workouts.  You’re creating a better body, a better mind for yourself, but something still exists in your heart that this is not the true purpose of your involvement in the sport.  I know we are all type A personalities, wanting to gain something, to do better, to be something we never thought we could ever be, but what if that’s not the whole story?

Have you ever thought that maybe that person you spend so many hours training with is just on the edge of crisis and you may never know it?  What if that extra half of mile that took 10 minutes to do changed their day?  In reality, what if you saved someone’s life just because you made them get up and get out the door. This sport allows people to run away from their problems; to work through solutions; to be better human beings without even knowing it.

I believe if people thought more about what they are doing to others, they would understand the greater purpose of undertaking endurance sports.  Not only is the exercise you are doing helping your training partners through engaging their brains in new ways, but it is releasing chemicals that elicit feelings of greatness, releasing the tension that surrounds them from everyday life, allowing them to spill their guts to someone that only understands them because you are suffering through the same grueling pace they are.

Triathlon gives a common past, present, and future.  It opens doors to souls that only long time training partners will appreciate.  The accountability to not only get those miles in, but to share one’s sufferings, one’s triumphs, one’s strengths, one’s weaknesses, one’s obsessions, one’s wrong doings.  These things should not be taken lightly.  It’s this part of training for a triathlon that should keep us going.  Keep our purpose in the fore-front of bringing other people into the sport.  Engaging them at a slower pace to allow them to share their life stories with us.

This purpose is not just for the official therapist, coach, or medical practitioner…it’s your role.  It might be your job to find someone to save, to take that step with, to bring a spark to their lives.  Whose life are you able to affect through the sport of triathlon other than your own?  Who are you bringing back from the edge of giving up on life?  Always keep the bigger picture in the forefront of your mind…the effect goes above and beyond the actual training for a triathlon.

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