Yesterday I had the triathlon tattoo on the inside of my left wrist covered with a new tattoo. In the past 24 hours, I have had a lot of people ask me why I did it, and the reason is this: I have decided to “retire” from training for and competing in triathlon. This decision did not come easy. In fact, it’s something I’ve been wrestling with for a year. The long and short of it is that when it comes to how I feel about training and competing, my heart isn’t in it anymore. I’m not going to enumerate my reasons as to why I have given up this magnificently challenging sport. Those closest to me already know, and if you don’t, I’d be happy to go into detail with you in person why I am moving on from my once beloved racing. Make no mistake: my love for the sport itself has not waned. If anyone ever needs or wants a runner or a swimmer for a relay, you can bet your bippy I will volunteer in a second. Triathlon has given me so much over the years. It provided structure and routine in my life at a time when I needed it most. It challenged me physically, mentally, and emotionally, for which I will always be grateful. Most importantly, I met some of the most incredible people through this sport, and formed friendships I know will last a lifetime. The past 8 years have been an amazing ride, but it’s time for other adventures.
My primary focuses are now running and CrossFit. It’s no surprise that I have fallen in love with CrossFit as I talk about it quite a bit. This new challenge in my life has reinvigorated my competitive spirit, and it has also positively impacted my overall level of fitness in ways I didn’t think possible. I want to continue to explore my new passion, as it has also made me a better runner. My quest to become faster and break a 22:00 5K is within reach, and I owe a large part of that to the strength and power I have achieved through CF. I can safely say that since starting this intense form of training, I have a renewed sense of vigor when it comes to my running.
So, I covered up my triathlon tattoo not because I am ashamed of it, or because I regret it, or because I don’t want a reminder of triathlon. I covered my tattoo because I want a fresh start. I chose the trees because they symbolize the strength and peace I now feel, and I chose pine trees as they encircle my beloved Walden Pond. I will always love triathlon, but the time has come for me to move on in a different direction.
“I found my account in climbing a tree once. It was a tall white pine, on the top of a hill, and though I got well pitched, I was well paid for it, for I discovered new mountains in the horizon which I had never seen before…” ~Henry David Thoreau, Walking