Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Looking Fear in the Face, Part 2

In honor of last week's blog post, I am competing in an olympic triathlon this weekend in Green River, Utah. And in honor of the competition, I am writing a truncated blog this week.

For those not familiar with triathlons, "Olympic" tri refers to specific distance. This particular race will be a 1 mile swim, 25 mile bike ride, and a 6.2 mile run. I wrote a story about my first tri and published it in Chicken Soup for the Runners Soul. Below is the opening paragraph.

The second I hit the water, I knew I made a mistake. There were about two hundred swimmers all diving in the lake at the same time, kicking off the first leg of our triathlon. We were indiscernible in black wetsuits and gray swim caps and kicked up so much water that you couldn’t see anything that wasn’t right next to you. My wetsuit sucked against my stomach, keeping me from taking any deeps breaths. The little air I took in was mixed with green water. I tried to hold my breath and swim underwater but the green murkiness blinded me. I could feel people swimming over the top of my legs and I knocked into someone with every stroke attempted. Panic quickly set in. Even though I was only fifty feet out, I knew I couldn’t touch—couldn’t touch, couldn’t breathe, and couldn’t see. This is how people drown.

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