I’ve been considering a new challenge over the past few weeks. Something that would really push my boundaries. Now, I know that I have only just been diagnosed with Epilepsy. I’m still coming to terms with the diagnosis and, more importantly where this challenge is concerned, I’m still trying to get my medication sorted out so that the seizures stop. So please understand, this idea is not a short-term goal, instead it is something to work towards over the next few years.
A few people I follow on Instagram are triathletes and Ironman competitors and the repeated chorus from their posts about how much they enjoy these races has peaked my interest. Lately, I’ve been thinking I would really like to have a go myself, I mean what a challenge! To try and improve in three separate disciplines, only one of which I have any familiarity with. I am intrigued to find out how far I could actually push myself. I know that I will never come close to being first in one of these events, but I think the overall experience would be awesome.
My only concern, and from what I’ve read I believe it is the same for anybody thinking of doing a triathlon for the first time, is the thought of the swimming component. I openly admit that I am not a confident swimmer. Sure, I can get myself out of trouble, but I just cannot get the hang of the breathing. My wife thinks it’s hilarious that I hold my breath for the entire length of the swimming pool because I find it easier, or so I say! To be honest, I’m completely knackered by the time I get to the other end of the pool. If I’m being totally honest, the thought of Open Water Swimming fills me with dread. I’ve never actually been swimming in the sea, not even on a beach holiday.
The cycling and running component should be okay, although I probably need to increase my running pace a bit and get out more on the bike! I’ve been in contact with a few people on Instagram, who have all said go for it. In fact one person said that they had trouble swimming 50 metres without stopping and she has just completed a full Ironman event! Thanks, @bikesbeersandbagels for the encouragement to just do it!
After speaking with Gayle, who has predictably done lots of research already, and she believes that it is more than doable once my Epilepsy Is under control. If I can get the seizures settled so I am safe to swim and cycle, she really believes I should take a serious look at how to move forward with the goal. She has even offered to train with me and have a go herself.
I would be interested to hear from anybody who has completed a triathlon or is in training to do so, who has been diagnosed with Epilepsy and/or was nervous about the swim segment. Please leave a comment below.
Watch this space, the next few years could get interesting.