>Racing season has started for some, and is right around the corner for others. I open my season at Wildflower in 9 short days, on May 1. A winter full of base building is over, I’m in the beginning of my build for the Ironman European Championships (July 4). Wildflower will be my first glimpse into how effective this past winter has been.
At times like this, it seems appropriate to reflect. Instead of sitting behind a desk, or going to school, etc.., I just spent my entire winter doing nothing but swimming, biking, and running (there may have been some Dos Equis involved, too). It’s all I’ve really done for the last 16 months of my life. Instead of building up savings and experience at a job that I could do for the next 30 years, I’m setting myself up to be an unemployed, ex-pro triathlete, 10 years from now. So the obvious question is, “Why? What the hell are you thinking? What is wrong with you?”
I would respond by saying, “I’m doing exactly what nature intended for me to be doing.” Over the last 200,000 years, humans have evolved to become the world’s greatest endurance athletes. There is not a single species on earth that could beat a fit human in a long distance foot race. Not one. We are the cream of the endurance crop.
There are other sports human get themselves involved with, and they’re fun, but really, we’re never going to be the best. No matter how much weight Magnus ver Magnusson can lift, an average gorilla is always going to be more powerful than him. No matter how fast Usain Bolt can cover 100 meters, an average cheetah will beat him every time. No matter how far Irving Saladino can leap, he’ll never go as far as a kangaroo.
However, if you’re the greatest human endurance athlete, then you’re the greatest endurance athlete on earth, regardless of species. I think that’s really freakin’ cool. Actually, I think it’s so cool that I’ve based my entire life around it. I admit it’s unlikely that I’ll ever be the greatest human endurance athlete (not due to lack of effort, though!). But I can take solace in the fact that, given enough time, I can run down any animal on earth. Maybe that sounds a little strange, and maybe it doesn’t make me much money, but it sure does make me feel satisfied.
So why do I do what I do? I’m just doing what humans are supposed to do.
Why do you do what you do?