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Pirate's musings and misadventures...
Somehow over the last few years I've developed an interest in endurance sports, and that's recently lead me into Triathlon. The aim of this blog is to work out how the hell that happened, and to document some of my training musings and mishaps. I'll try not to make it too long and rambling, but given my writing style, that might be tricky...

I owe my fitness to the buses....

Pirateby PirateAug 18th 2011
In this post, IĀ'm going start talking about the road that lead me to triathlon. Like I said in my last post, this story is going to going to take longer than I orginally thought it would (probably 2-3 posts, rather than the 1 I originally thought). So, here goes...

How did I get into triathlon? When I ask myself that question, I always imagine myself lying on a psychiatrists couch (to complete the cliche, the psychiatrist is obviously has highly stereotypical: glasses, clipboard, etc). Looking back, IĀ've probably taken quite a circuitous route to get to this point. Up until the age of 18, I wasnĀ't really interested in fitness or sport at all. This fact always surprises friends that IĀ've only known for a few years but, while IĀ'd occasionally decide to try and get into shape, IĀ'd inevitably lose interest pretty quickly. The factor which changed all this was necessity. At the time I was spending a year between A-levels and going to uni working. Work was about 5 miles away, and for the first couple of months I was there, I would get a lift in one direction, and the bus in the other. However, thanks to an unfortunate change in shifts on the part of the generous gentleman that was providing me with lifts, I was forced to start taking the bus every day. The problem with this was that buses in Bristol were (and still are) not the cheapest form of transport, so a thought that had been tickling the back of my mind for a while began to take shape: why donĀ't I dig out my mountain bike and have a go at riding to work? Things werenĀ't quite as simple as that though, because riding to work involved cycling up Bridge Valley Road, a hill which, at the time, seemed almost insurmountably long and steep. So, in a rare burst of sensibleness (thought IĀ'd made that word up, but my spell-check gives it the OK!), I decided IĀ'd give it a trial run on one of my days off. Halfway up Bridge Valley Road my back went into some sort of painful spasm, and I was forced to limp home and sit quietly until it stopped hurting so much. Still, in spite of this setback, I was still determined to cycle to work, so early one morning, a week or two later, I set off again, with the concession that I was going to walk up Bridge Valley Road until I was fit enough to cycle up it. Luckily, since it was a work day this time, I made it all the way and, in many ways ,IĀ've never looked back since. Most work days from then on IĀ'd cycle there and home (exceptions were made for days that I was hungover from the night before!), and I started to discover, to my surprise, that I was actually enjoying it. As a further encouragement, I started to drop weight as a result of the exercise. I was never really fat, but I donĀ't think itĀ's too much of a stretch to call me tubby in those days, so it was nice to see a result of the hard work I was doing every weekday morning and evening as I started to appear more slimline.

Over the course of the following few years (I used to return to work during Uni holidays), there were several occasions where I had the chance of daily lifts from co-workers, but I always turned them down, preferring instead to sweat my way through an hour of daily cycling, come wind, rain, snow or shine (and believe me, I had all four!). Even though there were times when it wasnĀ't easy - I can remember an Easter holidays when it felt like I was constantly riding into a headwind - I always tried to push on, and I hope thatĀ's a quality thatĀ's stayed with me right up until these first tentative steps IĀ'm taking into multisport.

Right, I think thatĀ's enough for now and that seems like a good place to have a break. Next time IĀ'll have a go at relating what happened to my fitness during my time at Uni.
 
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