Saturday, April 01, 2006

I wonder

Am I for real? Not in that existential philosopher sort of way, but more along the lines of who is the real me?

Sometimes the guy that goes out for training rides on the weekend or hangs out at the gym feels authentic. He has friends, he is relatively confident, he enjoys his training and he thrives on encouraging his colleagues to play like children. And yet . . .

This is my first season of multisport training. No matter how many hours a week you swim, bike or run, can you really be a triathlete if you have yet to complete a race? My mind envisions the triathlete I want to be, but since when are visions real?

More solid than the visions is the withdrawn, flabby bookworm of five years ago. He's still down there, inside, occasionally tapping my shoulder when the swim or ride or run is not going well, insinuating that I should be satisfied with the "real me," the one that does not belong here. "What are you doing here with all these outgoing, athletic, good-looking people? Who are you trying to fool? You are the same frumpy guy with bad hair, glasses and baggy jeans. It's only a matter of time before you are discovered. Grow up."

Am I really the guy who treats a six mile run as a recovery day? Or, is that temporary? Will I wake up and put my glasses back on, grunt as I roll out of bed, and go back to the office? Which one is real, the guy I left behind, the guy I am now, or the guy that is in my mind's eye who has yet to arrive?

I guess I decide.

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