Never had I imagined I would participate in a Triathlon, but on August 27th, I literally took the plunge. Even on the night before the big day, I went through a mental debate telling myself I should back out, that I had not properly trained, that the recent Great White shark sightings were a huge safety issue, plus as a Father of three, why would I take the risk? Yes, my mind was really working me over with fear, but I recently read about the power of vulnerability by author Brene Brown, “when we dare to drop the armor that protects us from feeling vulnerable, we open ourselves to the experiences that bring purpose and meaning to our lives. Vulnerability is the birthplace of joy, belonging, creativity, authenticity…and is our most accurate measure of courage.” So there I was at the Santa Barbara Triathlon, all alone, feeling extremely vulnerable, yet I finished in 55.07 min. I know that’s not a winning time, but I was still proud for stepping up to the challenge.
Reflecting back on this experience, I found that the Triathlon lacked that feeling of purpose and joy Brene speaks about. I wanted to feel that camaraderie and connection I’ve grown to appreciate while working-out as a group in my morning Fat Club (see July letter for reference). The sense of belonging to a team brings reward for me, far superior to a Triathlon metal. A good reminder that next year I won’t brave the Triathlon alone, because everything, including walking through our fears, is more joyful when done with friends.