Let’s be honest, sometimes the sport of triathlon can be pretty intimidating. Despite having a bunch of triathlons under my belt, walking into the transition area on race day makes me feel like I’m in Middle School all over again. And for the record, I didn’t sit at the popular kid’s table in the lunch room. The cool kids all have pointy helmets and bikes like this:
If you look closely, you’ll see that their bike shoes are already cliped into the pedals. I mean, I still sit down in transition to put my sneakers on. In some races, you’ll have an assigned transition spot, while in other races, you can pick your own spot.
I prefer when they assign spots because when I have to pick my own spot, it reminds me of choosing a locker or picking a seat in math class and having to anticipate where the cool kids will want to sit so I don’t accidentally take their spot and get a dirty look. There are also a lot of cliques in the transition area. It seems like everyone knows each other. I kinda feel like this:
The transition area also makes me feel self-conscious. Not only am I willingly walking around in spandex, but I’m not wearing any makeup and my age is written on my leg. I’m constantly thinking, “I hope no one sees my butt jiggle” or “Are they judging me because I don’t have a pointy helmet?” or “Crap, I hope no one noticed my swim cap fling off my head when I was trying to put it on”.
And then I start to laugh as I walk to pick up my swim cap and I make a joke to the girl next to me about how I bet the elite triathletes can’t fling their swim caps as far as I can and she laughs and we become instant friends.
So, yes. The transition area makes me feel like I’m in Middle School all over again, but I don’t let that stop me from doing triathlons, and you shouldn’t either.
Middle School doesn’t last forever and you won’t be a beginner triathlete forever. Triathlons are SO MUCH FUN, and even though there are a lot of things that still scare me and make me feel like a loser, I become more and more confident and comfortable each race–and you will too.
So if you’re too intimidated to do a triathlon or if transition areas make you feel like you’re in Middle School too, come sit at our table and set up your transition spot next to us. We’re the ones who still have a hard time putting on our swim caps.
To help you feel confident for your first triathlon, check out our 12 Week Training Plan and get ready to ROCK your race!