On Wednesday night, Team in Training held the Kick-Off event for the Nautica NYC Triathlon, the event I am going to be training for. For weeks, I had been nervously and eagerly anticipating this event. Even though training wasn’t going to start for another three days, mentally I felt like this date was the start of the journey. I also knew, from reading other people’s blogs and speaking with friends who have done Team in Training before (which I will, from now on, often refer to as TNT), that the evening was going to be long, not completely informative, and with a heavy dose of cheese. It was, and wasn’t, what I expected. Held a the New York Blood Center, the event was much larger than I had anticipated. Rather than the small empty room I had imagined, the event was held in a large auditorium. I found my “mentor”, took a seat, and watched as the auditorium filled up with somewhere between 400 and 500 mostly twenty and thirty-somethings. Mostly well dressed, mostly fit, many attractive, it was an intimidating crowd. Eventually, the program started. The first half was where they laid on the cheese. I recognize that all of this is being run in the name of and in support of cancer research, a cause I obviously support and care about (I don’t think it is that controversial of a cause, so I don’t know how you couldn’t), but the part I am nervous about is the athletic aspect, not the supporting cancer part. So I kind of wanted them to get straight to that. First, however, we listened to a girl’s story about having lukemia when she was 5, and then sat through a painfully awful skit about fundraising. After the DJ they hired (really the best use of money?) stopped playing, there was a ten minute break.
It was after this break that we finally got to the meat and potatos. All of the coaches came on stage and introduced themselves. They passed out the calendar I put up on the post before this, and went through, with fairly detailed descriptions, what our weeks will look like, schedule wise, and what the group practices (or GTS, group training sessions) will look like. They also discussed gear, which was helpful and a little bit intimidating when it comes to how much I don’t have for cycling. They made some bad jokes, tried to be scary and encouraging, and were generally informative. When it was finally over, I felt somewhat more informed. I don’t think I will really ever feel, however, like I have enough information until we are a few weeks into this. I am just the kind of person who wants to know everything and anything and, when you are dealing with this large number of people, you are going to limit information so that the important things get heard and read. I did, however, go up to the swim coach after to ask if I should go to intermediate or advanced swimming. Looks like, at least for now, I’ll be going to advanced (you have to be able to swim 1/2 mile in under 20 minutes, which I have no idea if I can or can’t do. Intermediate requirements, however, are 3-4 laps without stopping. I’m clearly way beyond that.)
I am quite excited to get this all started, after all of this planning, talking about it, training in running, and worrying. I was talking on the phone to a friend who did a different triathlon, but through TNT, last year. I explained how it has felt, over the past 6 months, that all of the hard work I put into my career and job search only returns a fraction of the effort. I told him how I’m really looking forward to doing something where there is a 1 to 1 ratio between what you put into it and what you get out of it. His response: you’ll get even more out of this than you put in. I can’t wait.