I gave it a Tri...now it's time to Do
May 2014 I was in the best shape of my adult life. I had lost 30lbs over the previous 6 months, I regularly worked out in the gym, I ate sensible meals, I walked my dog daily and swam regularly. Why was I doing all of this? It was because I was about to check off an item on my bucket list. I was preparing to do my first Triathlon. You may be asking "why on earth would anyone want to do a triathlon"...and I would tell you that you are in good company, because I was asking myself that same question every day. I'm not sure when the bug initially struck, but for the previous 4 years I have had this urging to do a triathlon. It's interesting because I don't run, I am only a recreational belly flop kind of swimmer...and I only started cycling about a year prior. Fast forward to June 2014 and I was officially a triathlete. The highlights of the race were quite simple: 1) I worked out enough to look half way decent in my skin tight Tri suit (basically full body spandex), 2) I didn't die in the lake. 3) I finished the entire race. My buddy Michael commemorated the accomplishment by ordering business cards for me.
Fast forward to June 2016, and I've completed zero triathlons since then, I've reclaimed the 30lbs that I abandoned, and I wouldn't dare slip back into that Tri suit at the moment. What happened? I wasn't entirely sure...but the more I thought about it the more I realized that it was most likely be attributed to the Checklist Effect. The Checklist effect is when you mark something off of your checklist and never think about it again. My Tri attempt was a fixture on my bucket list checklist, so when I checked it off, my journey was finished. It wasn't that my motivation had changed. It wasn't that my will power was any different. My sub-conscience mind just told me "we are finished" and there was no need to look at it any further. This is when it dawned on me. Checklists are meant for goals, not for Purposes. When we identify and own our purpose in life, then we create a series of goals to help accomplish and fulfill that purpose. The goals will change as we progress, but the purpose remains. I've realized that my purpose in life is to help as many people as possible. My WHY is to give away as much time and money as humanly possible. In order for me to do this, I need to be in a physical condition in which I can accomplish this. Therefor my fitness becomes part of my purpose, and the races and workouts are goals to help me achieve that purpose. When I changed that mindset, my desire to remain fit can't end with a check mark.
I am now registered for a 65 mile bike race in September, and a 1/2 marathon in November. In the meantime, I am eating clean and working out, and enjoying the great outdoors via hikes and bike rides. I gave it a Tri, now it is time for me to DO!