Should I sign up for a triathlon? | The Forge

The Forge Corwen

If you are thinking of entering a triathlon, here's what The Forge founder, Sheena Corry, has to say about her experience of finally completing a triathlon after 15 years!

I've been putting this off for 15 years. Ever since I did the swim leg of the London Triathlon in 2007, I've wanted to do a full Olympic triathlon, but then life, family, work and excuses got in the way. Excuses like...

"I haven't got time to train..."

"It's too expensive..."

"I should be focusing on my family first..."

"I need to build my business, not ponce around on a bike for hours..."

"I could never be fit enough to complete it..."

And the rest...

But then this year I decided to hit all these excuses head on and just get on and do it.

It was actually quite easy to find the time at the start and end of the day. OK there were some 5am starts and late nights at the pool, but I don't think anyone really actually missed me.

I was lucky enough to beg, steal and borrow most of the kit which saved me a fortune. The entry fees were a bit steep but probably no more so than a good night out...

The maternal guilt I had used as an excuse for not wanting to take up weekends competing was actually quite unfounded once I thought it through. With the exception of the race itself, training rarely encroached on our family time. And even on race day, they all came out to support me with big smiles (whether that was from the ice creams they were promised or the wonderful example of strong women athletes they were being exposed to I'm not sure...).

Plus I feel much more 'present' for having my own thing that brings me joy to balance out the other demands on me the rest of the time, which sometimes felt relentless and thankless. Prioritising my own sleep, exercise and nutrition has made me a much happier, more relaxed person to be around generally!

Perhaps paradoxically, the more time I spent training and the less time sitting on my arse staring blankly at my screen in the office, has actually generated more business. In fact, training has forced me to reframe how I think about work completely. I have had some of my most creative ideas at 6am up a hill on my bike, which have translated into real business gains. Far more so than spending evenings mindlessly scrolling through social feeds and emails and calling that 'work'.

And as for fitness, well, you'd be surprised what you are capable of. I convinced myself that I felt no different to 6 months ago when I started training. But when I got out there on Sunday morning I felt like I could take on the world! Perhaps it was the mountains of potatoes I ate the day before, or the handfuls of jelly babies I was stuffing into my face all the way round, but to finish 8th in my category and the 34th woman overall was beyond my wildest dreams.

So yeah, 15 years in the making. My advice for what it's worth? Ask yourself what you are putting off and then challenge yourself on your excuses. Chances are they're not really the insurmountable obstacles you think they are!

Posted: 06.09.22

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