Okay, I’ve studied the statistics from the two different duathlons I’ve done and have arrived at the conclusion that I’m just too happy in the transition department.
I mean, more than five whole minutes were spent in last weekend’s Galena Duathlon. That’s a big chunk of time. My competitors spent less than half that on average.
It has led me to believe that there are some deep down psychological issues going on with this whole transition thing. Maybe the word “transition” has me psyched out somehow. It sounds so much like something a counselor would use when you’re facing life’s biggest challenges. You know: “Relax: you’re just going through a transition.”
Well, a transition is not quite the same as a religious conversion or one of those wholesale change of life things where you buy a Corvette and get a hair transplant. Which I have not done. Nor will ever do.
But there must be some kind of reason behind my dawdling ways in the transition zones during duathlons. Here are a few possible explanations as to why transitions seem to be taking so long…
PONDERING SOME OF LIFE’S GREATEST QUESTIONS IN TRANSITION
I mean the bird was always so frenetic. And that laugh? Only a guy that wasn’t getting much tail could have a laugh like that.
A few of my friends from my early 20s laughed exactly like Woody woodpecker when they were out on the town and not having any luck with the ladies. That meant when the night was over they went home, ate Haagen Daz ice cream by the pint and took care of business on their own. The very next day they were back to acting like Woody Woodpecker again. Who, by the way, was a bird that ate turkey and other human foods. Go figure.
Ha-ha-ha-hah-hhh haaaaah! Good old Woody Woodpecker. Turns out they were hiding all kinds of sexual innuendo in those 1960s cartoons. Except when they didn’t try to hide it. No wonder Baby Boomers consume pornography. We never transitioned from adolescence.
CONSIDERING UNREQUITED ACHIEVEMENTS IN TRANSITION
Sometimes we take our past for granted or spend too much time dwelling on it. Either one can act like an anchor on your athletic endeavors. Athletes (like Uncle Rico) have been known to focus on athletic failures for decades. We all have our little bugaboos.
For example, I could dwell on a mile race in which I went through the 3/4 mile in 3:09 on my way to…a possible 4:10 or something like that! Yet I could only manage a 70 second last lap. What a collapse!
And if you blew that chance for glory, why go on? All of a sudden you’re lacing your shoes a second time in transition and you’ve temporarily forgotten all about why you’re there in the first place. No hurry, Boney Maroney. Just sit here thinking about the past. Then it hits you: Oh, wait! I’ve still got 20 miles to ride and four miles to run! What the hell! I better get going! By then it’s 5:00 since you entered T2 and four people in your age group are a mile ahead on the bike. Nice work, Boney. Now go ride. Fast.
DEALING WITH BODY PARTS IN TRANSITION
No matter how well you prepare for a triathlon or duathlon you’re still pretty much a bag of body parts trekking through the water, on the bike and on the run. Sometimes body parts seem to get out of place and don’t want to go back where they belong. You tug and you yank but your crank or your boobs or some other body part just seems to want to be out of place that day. There’s little you can do to fix that kind of problem while you’re in full motion during the swim or the initial run. But there’s transition…
So you promise yourself to fix things when you hit T1. But when you arrive, there’s always someone standing right next to you with their gear and $6000 bike in perfect order while all you can think about is the fact that your wang-dang or poontang somehow feels wrong inside in your shorts and you’re too damn embarrassed to fix the problem. So you hop on the bike coming out of transition without having dealt with the body parts issue and off you go for 20 or more miles of distracting discomfort.
It seriously makes you wonder deep down inside if there are other problems you are ignoring in life. And how long can that go on?
ADDRESSING INTESTINAL ISSUES IN TRANSITION
Some people have real issues in this category. In fact while visiting downtown during the recent Galena Triathlon/Duathlon we saw a tee shirt in the window that boldly stated I POOPED TODAY!
Well isn’t that sweet? Trouble is, this is often quite the opposite problem for people who compete in distance races. When you hit the transition zone and really have to go to the bathroom there is nothing more tempting than the sight of one of those porta-potties with a green GO panel showing through the handle.
But then you see that competitor to whom you hate to lose and they’re zooming through T2 and you think to yourself, “Well, I can hold it through the next stage.”
And you trek off with a poop turtle pushing at your sphincter and lose 40 seconds per mile because your ass is clenched and you think, “This could be a lot easier if I’d just stopped for 30 seconds.” Such are all the transitions in life. We often make them much bigger than they need to be. And a lot more clenchy too.
LIFE IS PERFECT
Or perhaps you’re one of those people who excels at preparation and don’t have these types of humbling, depressing moments like the rest of us in transition. You’ve sailed through life’s problems, have got lots of money and a bike built to your specific measurements. You wear $600 cycling shoes and $200 running shoes designed and assembled for your personal little feet. You’ve got a tri-suit with aerodynamic diamonds embedded in the surface to guide you through the water. You’ve even had your teeth cryogenically whitened so that your victory smile will show up well on Facebook.
Well, all the rest of us can sometimes say is this: have fun with that.
We may envy you, but life’s transitions don’t really end there. Because after the race when your personal handler hangs the bike on back of your Porsche and hands you the keys along with an iPhone held in a gold case, you’ve still got to go figure the rest of life.
Turns out you could actually use a little time in transition to reassess your values and figure out the many things in life that are not so perfect about you. Some might even be painfully neglected. A dose of reality and humility can be the toughest transition of all. That’s one of the tarsnakes of life.
And for those of you who genuinely do have it together, God Bless. We know you’re out there and appreciate your friendship, guidance and leadership. Because it really helps when someone else has the time to help others through life’s transitions. Wherever they may be found.
LIFE ITSELF IS A TRANSITION
Truth be told, life is a transition from birth to death. Even death is simply a transition of sorts. So there may be no shame in spending a little too much time in transition after all. You might just find and answer or two to tide you through. In T1, or T2. It’s what you do.