33 minutes ago
My road to Triathlon has been a bit rougher than for most, as for anyone with physical restrictions. Triathlon seems to be a sport for the young, slim & fit. But it’s not. A few of us have had less luck with genes & for us with Ankylosing Spondylitis (AS), we’re in the sport only to beat the odds & to complete. & we love it too, maybe even more so. Our race is the battle within ourselves.
I personally only know 1 other person on this globe with AS who's doing Triathlon! For me, my spine is party bone-fused after 25yrs of inflammation. I’m 10 cm (4 inches) shorter than I was when I was 18y.o. due to loss of cartilages, now bone, & a dreadful posture.
But after decades in bad pain & reduction in mobility (& zero sport) - to be pain-free is the closest I will ever come to being born again! It’s only when you lose something permanently that you can truly appreciate its importance. I regained my body about 8yrs ago, even though somewhat beaten up, I was & am still immensely appreciative. I managed my first run-walk in 30yrs, got a bike & slowly started to regain some fitness. Unfortunately, I also got a bit older on the way. Now at 55, my body needs a bit more time to recover. Returning to Norway in '15 after 14yrs in wonderful Ireland, in January last year, a friend got me to try Triathlon. But I was a disaster in the pool as I was literally drowning after 20m. Had no neck rotation. Not a fish so how to breathe underwater? I signed up with a swim-coach, & after 5 months did 4K in the ocean. Then, I started with 2 Olympic-distances, & against all odds - completed both. I admit I look awful in action (some honest voices have even said so), or as my training pals call it - I have my own special style. My stubbornness got me over the line. Now I’m signed up for IM Barcelona in Oct. Will I complete? Going to be some tough months ahead. I know I will do my best!
When you look around at your next race know that we are not all born equal & for some the quest is colossal. You may wonder what the hell is driving us. Even a bit annoyed, maybe? We shouldn’t be here. But that’s why we do to it: to beat the odds & do what shouldn’t be possible. ~ Jan Berg - #humansoftriathlon