Sunday, October 13, 2013

My solution to the triathlete's body paradox

Like the majority of the triathlon community I was "glued" to Kona coverage the other day. Since I cannot watch races without getting anxious to train myself, I had a friend message me updates as I rode my bike and dreamed of being there myself.  It was one inspiring race.

Also like the majority of the triathlon community, I have the pipe dream of getting to the big island one day and competing with the best. However, I do not just want to participate, I want to really compete. The Europeans, the Aussies, and the Kiwis, have dominated the podium for too long and one of my dreams is to bring back some American presence. It is definitely a far flung and crazy dream, but we can all dream, can't we?

I know already it is going to take a boat load of work, preparation and literally years of training before I can even fathom not only getting there but being able to post those crazy fast times. With that said the gauntlet has been thrown down, the challenge has been made, and I pity the fool (or mental demon) who tries to stand in my way.  Kona 2024!

Alas I digress and now back to more important matters...

Rockin' the W! 
What I actually found more interesting than the race itself was the festivities surrounding the race most prominently the underpants run. For those who do not know, every year, competitors and spectators alike run down the main street in virtually nothing but flashy underwear/multi colored fig leaves. Usually this would raise eyebrows and cause gag reflexes, but those running are world class athletes so their bodies are ripped (for the most part). I am talking about Men's Health and Fitness magazine shape but with no airbrushing. All natural, which is even more amazing! I did not even have to be there to feel self-conscious; the facebook posts were enough to make me feel uncomfortable and start doing crunches on the floor.

Now fast forward to the finish line. The winners of the race were not the ones who had the greatest bodies. They did not have ripped six packs nor a v shaped torso nor sub 5% body fat. They actually looked fairly normal. Don't get me wrong here. Van Lierde who won is one of the the fittest men in the world!
Photo by Nils Nilsen via
It makes you-well at least it makes me--wonder is it possible to have an awesome body and still race incredibly, pro-level fast? Moreover, which would you rather have? The body or the speed? Its a paradox.

I think it is possible to have both but not by doing crunches or training 30 hours a week. That strength pales in comparison to developing mental strength. If your mind is strong and comfortable in your body perception, then both the body and the speed will come, but that is just my two watts.


  1. Interesting take on Kona.

    I, myself am going for fast. At 40, I am not sure how many fast years I have ahead of me. Also, I have never been ripped, so I am not missing anything. Although, I am getting much closer recently (thanks to NSNG).

    You are young, have a great attitude and are tremendously fast right now. Kona IS in your future. Maybe I will see you there some day.


    1. Thanks, John! I have my work cut out for me