In a recent post, http://beginningcyclecommute.blogspot.com/ asked "Why?" He was refering to bicycle commuting, but I started asking myself the same question about Tri's. Here is one of my initial answers:
One of the things that I love about triathlons is that each of the three sports provides me with different training opportunities. This includes how and what I think about when I am training.
Swimming is great when I need to clear my head and NOT think. This is what swims around in my brain while I'm in the pool: " lap 1...lap 1...touch wall, half way to lap 2. Lap 2, lap2, lap 2, touch wall, half way to lap 3. Wait. Am I on lap 3 already? No, I can't be. touch wall. Now I'm on lap 3." Somewhere around lap 12 I start thinking "I might actually be going backwards, I'm going so slow". This lengthy sentence always causes me to loose track of what lap I'm on.My rule of thumb when I lose track, is to go back to the lowest number. You get the picture. It goes like this for atleast 20 laps. Until I achieve total nothingness. By the time I'm done, my mind is numb, and I don't remember what I was stressed about before I hit the pool.
Running is great when I am frustrated/agitated/annoyed/confused. I can pound it out, and leave the problems on the pavement. I can get lost in the run and feel like I'm in control of body, if not anything else in my life. Running is also great when I'm feeling happy or proud of something. Then I feel like I'm flying (even at my turtle pace.) I love the heart pounding, legs cramping, side splitting open- feel after a good run. I love how 10 minutes after a run I'm thinking, "I could've done better. I could've pushed harder." if I'm still standing.
Biking is for the pure fun of it. It's the speed and the wind and sun. And did I mention the speed? It's not uncommon for me to laugh out loud when I'm biking. I try not to do this around people, so that I don't scare them. But, sometimes I can't help myself. Even when I'm grinding up a killer hill, I'm still having fun. Even when my quads feel like they are going to rip away from the bone, I'm still loving it. It's hard to be in a bad mood after a bike ride.
So, why do you do what you love? What makes you love it, whether it's tri's, some other sport, or something artistic?