Thursday, May 17, 2007

Why I tri?

Well, technically I don't. The title of this post would be far more appropriate to as "Why I am going to tri?" or "Am I some kind of nut?" or "Where are you dad?". There are many reasons for me to tri and over the next couple of weeks I want to discuss them. When I say discuss, I mean I want to hear your reasons too! (Although, I have no one that is aware of this blog yet, so I may be discussing issues myself). (Again).

First things first!

Why is this blog called Jumper 2.0?

I don't know if this can be explained in one post. Lets just start with the fact that the format that Jumper 1.0 was highly corrupt. I was called Jumper during my rugby days at what was then Mankato State University. The men and women that I considered friends were awesome. I was not, I suffered from depression and low self-esteem. I realize that in of itself is not too big of an issue, many people do and I realize it is nothing to be ashamed of. The problem was how I exhibited it. Lets just say that I was quite amateurish in my behavior and my responsibilities (and to be considered amateurish amongst the rugby crowd is saying something). Insert smartass icon!

There is another part to Jumper 1.0 though and that was my physical health. I was always injured in one way or another (usually really bad shin splints). Out of five seasons (fall and spring, so two seasons a year), I really only had 2 seasons that I played pretty good. I was first string and I deserved to be at the time. But as I said, injuries plagued me. I tried playing the fall of 1991 injured (soleus) and I played awful. I will always remember during an off season winter match in Duluth being replaced before the match even started. I remember the team member that proposed the change and I remember the quiet acceptance of everyone else. My injuries and the fact that I was partying less because I was in the RN program at school ended my play and it ended my friendships (though the friendships ending may have been at least partially my fault). I was quite angry at them for a long time. Eventually, I forgave them, but, I was still angry for some reason! It took a while, but I finally realized why. I was angry at myself. I had failed! I was a slob (ask any former roommates)! I was much more depressed! I was worthless! I was ugly! I was back to my moods and attitudes a teenager (from an abused home). I am unlovable!
I have accomplished nothing.

Did I mention I had a problem with depression?

Now I mentioned that I was angry at myself. This was quite a revelation to me but I want to clarify that in the last 15 years, I really didn't have much of a problem with myself as a slob or feeling worthless or ugly. That was how I felt then! (In fact, I am damn fine looking;-)! The revelation was that I was still angry at myself for failing!

Even failing is ok! As long as something is learned from that.

I have! (finally)

Jumper 2.0 doesn't get life or meaning from any one material thing or accomplishment (Actually I get life and meaning from God, but I am not here to hit you on the head with that). Jumper 2.0 realizes that depression can bite at any time. Jumper 2.0 has and is going to have long term, meaningful relationships. Jumper 2.0 is not a failure! Jumper 2.0 has nothing to prove! (yes, I realize that I am talking about myself in the third person)

However Jumper 2.0 does need to tri!

(Back to first person)

I need to tri to be a better husband, I need to tri to be a better dad, I need to tri to be a better person, I need to tri to volunteer more, I need to tri to be more giving and serve others,

and I need to tri!

I am not "failing" at any of the above needs but,

I want my kids to see more than a life of work, paying bills, mowing the lawn and bringing them to piano, games and watching tv. Not that those aren't important too (well, the tv may be questionable), but I want them to see accomplishment. I want them to see a dad who isn't afraid to fight modern day versions of slaying the dragon or hunting the wild boar for food. I want them to see someone that views life as a gift to live to the fullest and realizes what he needs to do to achieve that.

When I exercise and work out, I feel better, I have more energy, I am better at work, I am sick much less often, I think and talk about/to God more. In short, I am better ready to serve. However, exercising and working out hasn't been working for over twenty years. Oh, it would work great for a month, or sometimes even 3 or 4 months, but then life gets in the way and I fall off the exercise bandwagon again, and again, and again.

Well, one day, I was thinking about this fact and a thought entered my head. "You need a goal, Tim". Hmmm, I knew instantly that this was absolutely right. I went home and in my mailbox is an email from Mens Health with the title "Anyone Can Be A Triathlete"!

How does that happen?

Since then I have been training. And I have to tell you, there is a HUGE difference between training and working out. You are just automatically more dedicated. But strangely, I am also more relaxed. One day, I was going to run a couple of miles after bringing my son to his baseball game. I figured there will be twenty minutes before the game starts and if I miss some of the game, it won't be much. I'll see most of it. Well, we were a little late, my wife and daughters were there and I sat and watched with them. I ran later before work (I worked the night shift that night). There are other times when I really do feel the need to work out. The laundry or dishes can wait.

I also started listening to podcasts (Tri-talk, SimplyStu, and GYGO) and visiting websites to learn how to do this right. How not to hurt myself, how not to fail.

On July 14th, I run a sprint triathlon in Minneapolis, Mn and later this summer or early fall, I will run an Olympic length triathlon.

Wish me luck!


  1. Hey dude. you need to tri to hook up with us this week sometime while I'm here.

    Welcome to the community.

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