I decided last summer that I wasn't enough of a masochist. Sure, I cause myself some emotional and mental pain, but I was missing the physical pain. That had to be remedied. So I thought, "Hey, what better what to really break your body than train for a triathlon?"
This seemed to make sense for several reasons. 1) As of last summer (the last time I was in the pool), I was able to do the half-mile swim with not too much trouble. 2) I've never biked 15 miles, but I've done half that without being winded, so how much worse can the second half be. 3) I hate running.
Hm, one of these things is not like the other.
Let's be clear here: I'm not in good shape. I know it sort of sounds like it because of those other things I mentioned, but I'm really not. Until just recently, I got out of breath running up and down the stairs. I consider a good walk to be going from the bedroom to the bathroom. If I have to do exercise, I choose to ride my bike because at least I'm still sitting down (and, yes, that's my logic).
But I have been exercising 3-5 days a week for about five years now, enough to be considered habitual (or whatever the appropriate term is). Granted, my idea of a workout is stopping at the gym after work and hopping on the elliptical for a half hour, but it's more than nothing, which makes it something. And I recently started doing Couch to 5k three days a week to work on this pesky running thing (I start week 3 today. That means running for 3 minute blocks. Send happy thoughts).
Plus, I think it'd be really, really cool to be called a triathlete. I wish I could honestly say that was less than half my motivation for doing this.
The downside is that, of course, I'm kind of constantly sore now. And I sleep a lot better (probably because my body is permanently on the brink of exhaustion), which means less time for plotting future novels before bed. And I don't think I get any of that endorphin rush that other people talk about from running.
It's not really exercise I have the problem with; it's individual exercise. I like my exercise competitive, preferably with an edge of danger. As in racquetball. Nothing gets the adrenaline pumping quite like a small missile flying at your head (or into your head). I prefer competitive sports like that to the kind that require self-motivation (like, well, triathlons).
But, seriously, how cool would it be to be called a triathlete?