1. I Can’t Swim
Fair enough, very few Irish people can swim properly. Most of us learnt the same way, on a cold Irish beach where we were thrown in off the pier by an older cousin and the flapping arms and legs managed to keep us afloat, i.e. swimming. Don’t worry – just do a relay with someone else as part of a team. Your daughter, your postman, your sister, Seán from Accounts. A real chance to form a team. And being part of a team will also give you moral support and a bit of a push to keep training regularly, and you’ll be less inclined to chicken out.
Sure, you can always decide to make learning to swim properly your next goal, ask Santa for a few swimming lessons. Just don’t let that stop you now.
2. I Can’t Swim That Far
The great news is that our events are never “that far”. We always thought that most events were too far for us and so that’s why we have customised events for Everyday People. We’re not like those other “crazies” that do the full Olympic length swim (1,500m).
The ChooseToTri Event is a 250m swim, which is 10 lengths of a pool. And you will be in a wetsuit so that takes all the hard work out of floating. There will be lots of people in kayaks in the water closeby while you’re in the water. And think of this, if it’s a river swim, you will be going downstream so you’ll float the 250m down to the finish line even if you never do a stroke.
3. But I Don’t Have Time
This is the big one for most of us. And we know exactly what you mean. We have to work, have 12 hours to fit in an 18 hour piece of work, deal with that cranky client looking for the work to be done yesterday, organise to get kids out of the house, school lunches, uniforms, the housework, the car insurance, the infinite washing, the dinners, the incessant taxi-ing to hurling/Irish dancing/fiddle, and that’s only the half of it.
We’re all still waiting for the medical advice that tells us to “Drink lots of wine and watch reruns of Mad Men”. But here’s the thing – that advice is never coming.We all have different little habits which help us and we’d love to hear any new ones from you.
So, try to walk to work/school even if it means getting up an hour earlier AND/OR instead of meeting a friend for lunch or coffee, meet them for a walk and a takeaway coffee AND/OR make a regular arrangement with the other hurling chauffeurs that while kids are training the drivers are walking. Try this, commit 1 tv programme a day to your health, and use the same timing – out the door for the intro music of “Fair City” and back in time for the credits, stretch the distance you walk/jog in the time and you know you can always see it on the RealPlayer.
4. Will I Look Like An Eejit In A Wetsuit?
Well, doesn’t everyone look a bit of an eejit in a wetsuit? We try not to wear ours to the pub on a Friday night to cut down on the strange looks! You’ll be one of hundreds of people standing together wearing wetsuits. Stand with the ChooseToTri people (we’ll have our own coloured swim hat) nobody will even notice you. Any suggestions for a new collective noun for a group of people in wetsuits? Please post them on Facebook. “A gaggle of wetsuits?”
5. But All Those People Going Off To Swim Together… I Dunno…
Groups of swimmers go off in different waves a few minutes apart, the fastest swimmers go first. We will all go off in the ChooseToTri Event in the same “wave”. We’ll all have a different coloured swim hat (which you’ll get when you register on the day) so we’ll all know who we all are and where we’re going! And there will be plenty of people in kayaks marshalling the swim. You’ll get into the water about 5 mins before the start to get a bit of water inside the wetsuit to get you warm, or you could perform the surfer’s trick to get warm fluid inside the wetsuit – your choice… and you’ll gently float down to the starting line.
6. I’m Just Not Fit Enough
Sure none of us are fit enough to do the full distances. Don’t worry, we hear you. That is the very point of a special ChooseToTri Event – We all know we should be exercising more often, we don’t need the lectures from all the neon-clad MAMILs (Middle Aged Men in Lycra). Yes, we agree regular events are just too scary! That’s why we customise the events so they can be a goal for us but very do-able.
Here’s a little secret, repeat after us “I am NOT going to win this Event outright”, there you go, pressure is off now. Remember, this is all about us giving ourselves a goal so we will exercise regularly .
Our Event will be subsumed into the Main Event, because the distances are so much shorter, you won’t be trailing way behind the crowd. In fact, you’ll cross the finish line sooner than many of the other participants doing the longer distances.
7. I Don’t Have The Right Gear For Running/Walking
You do need a good pair of shoes – Any sports shop will fit you for them. And if you are going to be walking or cycling on a busy road, be sure to use a high visibility vest, even if it is bright outside. Also don’t forget a good hat and sunscreen. After that you don’t need any other special gear. So ask for vouchers for a birthday and away you go.
8. I Don’t Have A Bike
Borrow a bike for the day. Any bike with fairly good tyres and good brakes will do, but just make sure it is the right height for you. Click here for more tips. You’ll need a helmet too. A mountain bike will do too but it’s heavier and takes more effort to cycle it. It might be a good time now to take advantage of the “Bike to Work” scheme if it is open to you. Or do the cycle on a tandem with a pal – a great way to get publicity for your own business/club/charity.
9. What About Ahe Weather?
Oh yes, the weather. Always an issue in Ireland. It’s no co-incidence that we have so many different words to describe a rainy day as Gaelige. What can we say? Get yourself a waterproof jacket! (Not “shower proof” or “water resistant” – whoever decided upon those words has never been out walking in a shower in Ireland in July).
Exercise is not just something that beautiful skinny people do under a permanent blue sky. That’s a place called “Home and Away”.
Outdoor shops and cycling shops have great gear which is useful for all disciplines, including lambing! Who’d have ever thought?
10. What About All Those Very Athletic-looking People?
What about them? Yes, we know they are all half mad -”50km cycles before work” and all that! For many people, triathlons are a hobby, how they spend their weekends – yes, we know that is weird but it takes all sorts. Leave them off, we’re concentrating on ourselves and our pals and workmates who are doing our event. We’ll be the fit looking crowd having the laugh and a bit of craic.