Ever notice that sometimes smart people do stupid things? I’m a recovering Princess who’d joined a triathlon team despite my delicate posterior not gracing a bicycle seat in 27 years! Our first journey traveled near the Rose Bowl castle. I sighed hearing that a lap around the kingdom covered 3-ish miles. Having traveled that distance before, I would survive. Turning to leave, I heard “…Six times!” My blood grew icy as I fled beyond the cubicle woods in search of padded pantaloons for posterior protection.
I arrived to the far away kingdom’s border, where subjects warmed up their steeds. I mounted my silvery beast and followed suit. I plotted to ride as far for my first ride, as I could then return to a tub with musical bubbles – celebrating my first ride. The coaches made proclamations then sent us away – sun and wind through our helmets, reveling in the power of our own legs.
As I celebrated one lap and prepared for another, a man waved me down. I realized he wouldn’t whisk me away for a massage, rather he couldn’t let me escape until I knew how to change a bike tire. I cried, flirted and threw around my “First Practice” badge hoping he’d do it for me, but he was unresponsive. Eventually a kind soul came and instructed me while I did the work. After both wheels, I continued my journey! I made it 4-5 laps and returned to the cheering royal tunnel of love.
The coaches asked how I felt. I replied proudly “Tired – It was my first ride!” The coach unflinchingly responded, “You should’ve started earlier.” His sharp tongue cut me deeply but fairly. I instantly knew that doing “what I felt like” wouldn’t be enough. I would reach deep to bring my best to determine whether I sank or swam on triathlon day.
Honestly, I chronically suffer from underlying princess tendencies. Every workout afterwards, I panicked a little at new distances, new jobs, or new facebook accounts. While it seems easier to hire a huntsman to do your dirty deeds, I now prefer to stare down the dragon, arm-wrestle, defeat it, then turn around and help another do the same!