Thursday, October 16, 2008


What motivates someone? Is it fame, fear, family, money, challenge? Something else?

I was reading some posts earlier today, Ironmakeover, and one of her posts was concerning motivation prior to and during a race. I have a different type of motivation that interests me. What causes us to do triathlons, or jump from airplanes, or rock climb, etc. So here is my story.

First of all if you can't tell I am a male. Young males tend to do things that border on dangerous, but we considerate that to be fun (for you moms and dads under 40ish--let your kids get hurt. They will learn important lessons about pushing the limit--not to mention first aid). The freedom to roam and explore as a kid is probably what motivated me to push myself--that and I was scared. I don't like to be scared. When something scares me I tend to gravitate toward it. Once you learn about it, it is not as scary.

I was never a big kid but I was the first one to be able to jump my bike over whatever objects we could find. I tried to make a parachute out of a sheet and jump off the storage building. I used a hollow aluminum tube and a piece of rope to make a "slide for life" off my parents balcony (that did not work too well, the stake pulled out of the ground and went crashing 15 feet to the stone patio).

As I got older, I did other crazy stuff. I joined the army, jumped out of planes, climbed mountains--life was a big rush. Then it ended. I came back from living live on the edge and settled into a more 9-5 routine. I got BORED and FAT. So I decided to take up triathlons.

I did my first triathlon at age 17 or so when I was lifeguard, but I don't really count that one. I did not do another one until age 35. So to sum up my motivation for triathlons--boredom and body fat!!! Seriously, the drive to stay fit and live a healthy lifestyle is very important. The excitement of the unknown in each race fuels that need for adreline.

So what is your story!!!


CoachLiz said...

My first triathlon was a little over 6 years ago and it was to raise money for cancer research for my mom. One thing lead to another and the races started getting longer and longer. Then it became a goal to see how far a kid born with a congenital heart defect and who had undergone open heart surgery could go.

Why do I keep doing triathlons? I know that I motivate others. I know they are thinking, "If the chick who had open heart surgery can do this, I can do it too." Also, I hope that I am good healthy role model for my son.

Kelly said...

Very interesting. I always love hearing about how people got into this (one of the reasons I started my blog at the very very beginning).

Sara Cox Landolt said...

Hey there, thanks for the link.

I got engaged the morning of my first triathlon, which was also my birthday. My husband and I have always felt stronger and closer when we are training for events. We love talking about our training and what felt good, what didn't etc.

I struggled for a long time with fear and expectations. I failed my first Ironman attempt, but came back to finish two years later at a different venue.

I didn't want to hide behind my failure and use that for an excuse not to try hard or scary things. I had to deal with some issues, but it's been a great experience. That finish means more.

Our oldest son has done two youth triathlons. He is 7. I love seeing him do things that may seem scary at first, and then watching him find out how much he really can do. Changing expectations.

Here's to many more adventures!

Paul Taylor said...


I wrote two posts about why I tri on my blog, Part 1 and Part 2. Part 2 is more of a race report. I came back to that race and improved by 16 minutes this year. Still loving it!

Checkout my sport support store and please tell a friend!

Keep tri'n