“Mimi —it’s not that I’m opposed to any of the sports. Each, individually, is great. Swimming, biking, running…I would do any of them. But….why would you ever want to do all three…consecutively?”. My friend Amir, the well-heeled logical Manhattanite was incredulous when I told him the news that I had signed up for a triathlon. We were hanging out with a group of friends, lounging amongst the velvety oversized sofas in the sumptuously decorated W Hotel Lobby Bar, having cocktails and tea — they were all shocked that I would embark on such an endeavor; seemingly unfit for a girl who was deeply entrenched in the yoga practicing, teaching, and meditating world. And they weren’t far off base (during one particular fearful, self-doubting moment, I Googled “triathlon deaths”).
Once I signed up, I dove right into training. I borrowed my neighbor’s bike and joined group running workouts. I went bike riding with my friend, Andrew, a NYC cycle-racing stud for guidance. My swim friend, Matt, helped tighten my swim game and took videos to help me improve my stroke efficiency. It was a lot of fun. I was connecting and working with people that were not part of my everyday life. I got a glimpse into their world, a deeply nuanced mini-universe that involved dedicated, colorful athletes; an entire subculture complete with its own vernacular. It was fascinating to delve into this trifecta of passionate and disciplined athletes.
What I learned from training in the different sports is similar to what I learned about Yoga — to see change, you have to be consistent and disciplined. When I first started practicing Yoga, I jumped around to different studios and tried a multitude of styles. It wasn’t until I committed to the Jivamukti and Mysore Ashtanga practice that I experienced change. In the same way, the athletes that I met had achieved success by committing to coaches, groups or clubs in order to be plugged into a nourishing, encouraging community.
I made a few rookie mistakes on race day. Got stuck smack in the middle of the swim clusterfuck for a solid 50 meters when I was specifically trying to avoid it. Took off my bike shorts before the bike ride even started – and replaced them with my running shorts – because I was a little discombobulated during the transition. Then forgot to put on the ankle chip so my bike ride never got timed. However, I relish that moment when I got to say “on your left”, because for the first time, I was actually passing someone! Crossing the finish line brought the biggest smile in my heart. Until next time…On Your Left. 😘