Friday, February 19, 2010


Last night our Tri Team had our kick-off meeting for the new season (a special Welcome to all the new members!) Although this tale is well known amongst the Tri Team elders, I never posted the story of MY first kick-off meeting.

Flashback to spring 2005. Gerald and IronmAnnie had an information desk set up in the lobby at work, talking about something called a "triathlon". I started running one year before, and the longest race I'd done was a 10k. I didn't have a bike, was not a good swimmer, but when IronmAnnie smiles at you says "you can totally do this!" you kind of believe her. So I decided I would go to their informational meeting.

Now here's the thing: I was very nervous about going to the kick-off meeting. I wasn't really sure what a triathlon was, but I expected a room full of jocks to be there and that I didn't belong there. I made a difficult and specific decision to confront my fears and sit right in the front row, as if I did belong.

The team leaders got up one by one and talked about the many different things we would have to do in order to complete the Nautica Malibu Triathlon in September. We had a lot of gear to purchase, and then we also had to raise $200 to benefit one of the local Children's charities. I don't know what I was thinking, but I decided to ask a question:

"So let me get this straight... I have to buy a bike, and a wetsuit, pay a registration fee... I'm going to spend $1000 in order to raise $200 for charity. How about if I don't do the race and instead I just write you a check right now for $500. We'll both come out ahead."

An hour earlier I was terrified about being surrounded by a bunch of jocks, and now I was in the front room essentially mocking them. Several months later, after I was accepted into the Pack, Gerald told me about the first impression I made upon the team: apparently they got together after the meeting and asked each other "who the hell was that a-hole in the front row?"

Five years later, I STILL don't know what that a-hole in the front row was doing there. But I like to think I've redeemed myself since then.


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