Dark, pleasant, calm and quiet were the first signs of the following morning I woke up to. The first thought that ran across my mind was the lake. Bereft of experience in open waters I took a plunge into this challenge. I was anxious, nervous and brimming with excitement all at the same time. This was the day I had been looking forward to all this while and it had finally arrived. There wasn’t much of a strategy that I contrived. Just that I had to give my best and be strong for the entire course of the race.
About an hour or so later, we found ourselves staring at the vast expanse of the lake. This was the first time I had ever laid my eyes upon it. It was beautiful, serene and treacherously deep.
Moments lapsed. One by one the athletes started pouring in and soon the silence disappeared. Some were pros, some were amateurs like me. There was only one purpose for us that day. To finish the task at hand. To complete a triathlon.
From the very beginning it wasn’t easy. We had six loops of two hundred and fifty meters that we had to circle around in the murky and warm water. There wasn’t much of a warm – up required for the swim leg so we just dove in and the race had begun. After six loops I emerged from the lake having completed the first leg. Two more to go I said to myself. Sprinting to the transition area I got my bike gear on and cruised down the hill to cover two loops of a ten kilometers ride on an unfamiliar rolling terrain, occasionally passing by a few villages and eager onlookers from these dwellings. Speed – breakers, potholes, cows, tractors, buses and aimless villagers crossing the roads like it belonged to them, were some of the tourist attractions we witnessed as we zipped past. These were the hazards that we cautioned ourselves even before the race.
Lastly, a ten kilometers heartbreaking run was all that was left. But as I crossed the half way mark I could sense that I was slowing down as I was accompanied by my two best friends - cramps and dehydration. I couldn’t move my legs the moment I got off the bike, but somehow gave it my best. In the end, when I crossed the finish line, I was more than happy.
When it was all done, I thought to myself, I’ve achieved my goal. Time to focus and work on the next one. If the sun rises on the 15th January 2017, I will have become a marathoner.
There will always be obstacles when you try something new. Believe in yourself. And to those who are reading this and wondering whether to do a triathlon, to them I’d like to say – Just go for it and give it a Tri!