RMTC has a significant reputation in the Denver area for being a club of serious fast triathletes. Luckily, being new to Denver, I didn’t know any of this when I joined to celebrate being a year post back surgery. I had taken adult swim lessons for exercise after surgery, and had just started jogging, so I figured why not. A triathlon would be a perfect way to triumph over a year of pain, frustration, depression and months of physical therapy — the only problem was I didn’t have a bike. Heck- I hadn’t even been on a bike since I use to ride to my babysitting jobs growing up.
A month later I gather my courage and attended my first ever group swim practice. I think I was the slowest person in the pool that day. I came back again and again- I learned drills and how to read a swim workout- each time I reminded myself that if anyone was too concerned with my workout they weren’t working hard enough in their workout. I started to see the same friendly faces and one of the girls I swam with my first months in RMTC is now one of my closest friends.
Another month later having worked on my jogging, and was up to ~3 miles, I attended track practice- but it wasn’t track it was hills.
Holy crowly- these people can run.
The warm up was enough of a workout for me- I hadn’t done a group run in over 1.5 years. By some miracle I survived, I’m still not sure how.
…And since I survived it was time to get a bike. I knew NOTHING about bikes. Based on club advice I went to Tribella and bought a road bike and everything that I didn’t know I needed for a bike. Getting use to riding was an entertaining experience and learning to clip in, and even just ride around a parking lot, resulted in multiple bruises.
Soon I bought a wetsuit from another club member (and now good friend). The first time in the open water I think I made it to the first bouy and back at Grant Ranch. I grew up every summer playing in lake but swimming in a constricting wetsuit was an entirely different experience and intimidating. Plus how do you swim in a straight line (I’m still working on that).
I had the gear, and some training, so now time to sign up for a race! That summer I completed my first sprint triathlon. I think I cried before I even started the race. Yes, in the past I had run marathons, but I never had thought I could do a triathlon. And now, by Labor Day I upgraded to an Olympic!
Now… I’m hooked!
I own a kit (aka way to tight of clothing), know how to change a tire on my bike, have way too many water bottles, and think 7AM is sleeping in on a Saturday.
I have met all kinds of athletes in RMTC– and everyone has been so friendly and willing to share advice. (I needed lots and lots of advice when I found this sport). Many people in the club are of my same athletic ability. I’m pretty sure half my friends in Denver are in some way associated with RMTC.
My mother thinks this hobby of mine is crazy, my non-triathlete friends think I’m amazing. I’m just happy I can make it to the starting line. I will never podium in a race, or think an Ironman is a good idea; I’m not a natural athlete, but exercise makes me feel good.
Somehow through running 400 meter repeats, swimming countless laps in a cold pool on winter mornings, and riding the roads of Boulder, I’ve become a triathlete. Maybe next year I will even hire a coach. Until then I will keep on attending group workouts, partaking in free drinks at the socials, and being inspired and challenged by my co-crazy triathletes. Hope to see you out there next!