Revolutionary Zen

Long ago when I was a newbie doing my first Revolution 3 race at Quassy CT I was awestruck as the emcee Sean English introduced these athletes known as “crazies!” Why were they “crazies?” Because someone gave them the bright idea of racing back-to-back triathlons was somehow a normal and possibly noble idea. Instantly I was intrigued and only further tempted to become one of these crazies and so my journey began really several years ago. With the idea that this “badge-of-honor” would forever follow you after completing the Revoultion because when you include those spicy hills Quassy Oly & Half are known for the result is an extraordinary mixture of endurance challenges; and that was exactly what I wanted. I decided this was to be the symbol that set me apart from the hordes of triathletes,who seek the dot, that upper case M we have all pursued at some point as the litmus test of one’s triathlon prowess(not taking anything away from the 140.6 distance). I decided to try a different path; on Saturday May 31st I did just that.

The proverbial calm before the storm began early Saturday morning. As the sun consumed the darkness, athletes could be seen busily preparing their transition boxes, wetsuits, nutrition and bikes before heading to the water’s edge to stand toe to toe with their age group peers. They grit their teeth and dive in head first for the swim course markers that peppered lake Quassapog.

Somehow, among the hustle and bustle of transition I made friends with my fellow crazies. We acknowledged the monumental task; an Oly today and a Half tomorrow. Some discussed their strategy of racing specific days with time goals, others talked of dropping down to the AquaBike and some considered pulling out. Whatever doubts were creeping into their minds I would not let those thoughts near me. I finished my setup laying out a simple transition area, all The PowerBar liquid nutrition, gels and bars were affixed to Fosters (the name I gave my Quintana Roo), my Rev3 visor placed on top of my Pearl Izumi EM TRI N2’s, all laid out on the microfiber towel from Waves and walked to the water’s edge, where I waited.

I waited and waited some more, for what seemed like an eternity, until suddenly I had this awakening. There are few moments in my life where I can honestly say everything went silent, the world of distractions faded away as the sensation of awareness to my surroundings was heightened to a new level of acuteness. Then the water engulfed me, arms and legs were flying, the few inches of space between us disappeared as my age group slashed and crashed their way towards the first buoy. The sound of water passing over me drowned it all out; my breathing never changed which kept my focus and heart rate in a state of control I can honestly say I’ve never achieved. The sun danced on the water, blinding the meek and encouraging the others to fight their way through the turns. From there it was all a blur. I cannot even tell the difference between the days or the distances. It all blended into this perfect state of racing; a state of Zen like racing that I fear I’ll never achieve again, yet I will chase with more perseverance than I can put into words.

more race recap to follow…

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